Half of Afghan kids not at school: Oxfam | india | Hindustan Times
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Half of Afghan kids not at school: Oxfam

india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 18:44 IST
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More than half of Afghanistan's children -- about seven million -- are still not in school despite a five-fold increase in enrolments since the 2001 fall of the Taliban regime, Oxfam said on Monday.

And only one in five girls attend primary school, the ratio reaching one in 20 at secondary school level, the British-based charity said in a report five years after the toppling of the extremist Taliban, which denied girls schooling.

The report — released ahead of a NATO summit in Latvia starting Tuesday that will focus on Afghanistan — said rich countries needed to do much more to lift the destitute country out of its current situation.

Children were being denied education because of a severe shortage of thousands of trained teachers and school buildings, with poverty and insecurity in areas where insurgents had destroyed schools among other contributing factors, it said.

"Seven million Afghan children are currently out of school, while five million children attend school, up from 3.1 million in 2003 and around one million in 2001, when the Taliban were in power," Oxfam said.

"Many of those lucky enough to be in school are being taught by untrained teachers: A survey in northern Afghanistan revealed only five per cent of primary school teachers could pass the exams which their pupils must take," it said.

Over half of children did not go to school because there was no school nearby.

More than half of the country's schools needed major repairs, with the majority being without clean drinking water or toilet facilities.