Nearly half of Afghan children are out of school, the worst result since 2002 and the end of the Taliban regime, according to a UNICEF report that denounces the general, security and economic deterioration of the country.
Girls are the most targeted and represent 60% of 3.7 million children (aged 7 to 17) deprived of schooling, says UNICEF in its report released Sunday.
In the most affected areas, more than 85 per cent of girls do not go to school, says UNICEF, which lists the southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul and Uruzgan, and central Wardak and Paktika, mostly Pashtun. and where Taliban fighters are particularly present.
The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that an additional 300,000 children, currently enrolled in primary school, are at risk of dropping out of school before the end of the cycle.
The most exposed live in rural areas, belong to the most fragile families economically and threatened with displacement because of insecurity.
“Displacement and early marriage have an impact on a child’s ability to attend school. The lack of female teachers, the poor state of schools and insecurity are the main factors that lead children to drop out of school, especially girls, “the report notes.
The latter also suffer “the weight of certain religious beliefs” and that of “early marriage which remains the second reason for girls to drop out of school.”
“More broadly, parents’ lack of education, poverty, and tuition fees,” already advanced by previous studies, “are confirmed by this study.”
Children must go to school, says UNICEF
The report argues, however, that “85% of children who started school finish at least the first cycle. The main challenge is to get children to start school, “he says.
For UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, Adele Khodr, this data remains unacceptable.
“To continue in this way is not an option. When children are not in school, they are at increased risk of abuse, exploitation or recruitment “by armed groups, she insisted in presenting the report.
According to an audit conducted for the US Congress in late April, 20% of Afghan territory was under the control of the insurgents and only 56% under that of the government, the rest being disputed between belligerents, the worst figure since 2001.
Karen Allowa is a reporter for News Australia Today. After graduating from university, Karen got an internship at Northern Territory News and worked as a reporter for Darwin the the Northern Territory. Karen has also worked as a reporter for The Canberra Times. Karen covers entertainment and community events for News Australia Today.