AFGHAN VILLAGE GETS ITS FIRST FEMALE HIGH-SCHOOL GRADUATES
Old Aqcha is the name given the informal school composed of two rooms of a teacher, Mohamed Ishaq, devoted to the makeshift instruction of boys and girls.
Built 12 years ago, the school had 150 students by 2008with 6 male and 2 female teachers.
The graduation ceremony held for both boys and girls was attended by government authorities who have proved less successful in advocating girls’ education.
Afghanistan government has made great efforts to promote girls’ education since the fall of Taliban in 2001.
However, the main problem, being the male mentality toward the issue has remained the main obstacle in the promotion of female education and employment.
At present, 66 percent of Afghan girls are enrolled at elementary schools compared to 92 percent of boys while the share of the former drops to 26 percent in secondary school.
The rate of the country’s female high school graduates is 350,000 with 4,027 in Kandahar, the most populous province of the country.
Activists in Afghanistan believe that the male dominated culture in the country has crippled all efforts to increase girls’ enrolment in schools.
The experience of Mohamed Ishaq, with his daughter having studied midwifery in the province’ capital and contributing the village’s first female high school graduates, corroborates the activists’ inference that male mentality is a major indicator in female education in Afghanistan.
What some localities have initiated to tackle the present trend has been using the potentials of local mosques for changing attitudes towards gender discussion of education.