BAMYAN (PAN): Though the vital education sector faces no specific security related hurdles in Bamyan but lack of school buildings, textbooks and professional teachers are viewed as some of the factors hampering the education field.
Education officials and provincial council members of the province vehemently criticized the absence of skilled teachers, schools and existence of inequity on education budget allocations, particularly in Bamyan.
In 2012, they were able to used rental houses for students who lacked access to schools. But they were failed to do so in 2013 due to inexistence of adequate fund, the education department officials claimed.
Mohammad Raza Ada, Bamyan education department head told Pajhwok Afghan News education sector of the province experienced some challenges despite progress. He pointed out lack of classrooms as main need of the department. He said more than 2,000 classrooms needed around the province where they have 2,000 12th graduate teachers. However, they needed at least to complete teacher training college.
The education department official went on to say they hired over 730 contract teachers for schools but they did not yet complete even a high school.
A number of primary schools were upgraded to secondary and some secondary upgraded to high schools, asking the need to constructing additional school buildings, Ada said.  
Calling security and people interest with education as main reasons behind the education advancement, he said more than 135,000 students, including 60,000 females were getting education last year in Bamyan.
This year, more than 13,000 students have newly-joined schools but his department lacked space and qualified teachers.  Bamyanis have good interest with education, but the sector here faces imbalance, a provincial council member, Haidar Ali Ahmadi said. “Nobody focus on advancement of education here while a large number of budget is being invested on this sector in other provinces.”
Ahmadi said the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) has allocated $ 85 million to education sector of Jawzjan province, while similar amount yet to be invested over the past decade on education sector of Bamyan.
Despite all these, the ministry of education said in access of 24 percent children to education, lack of skilled individuals, school buildings and closure of schools in insecure areas as main challenges facing education sector.
While delivering speech in a meeting at the beginning of this academic year, education minister, Dr. Farooq Wardak said they planned to build 100 schools, as many seminaries and 46 professional training colleges this year across the country. .
He confirmed 50 percent school teachers were still non-professional and there were eight million illiterate individuals between 15 to 45 years of ages around the country.
He veiled construction of buildings for schools in remote areas as yet another challenge, prompting large numbers of students to get education under blue sky.
Residents of Bamyan believed education was the only way to move toward peace and stability, avoid war and raise public awareness among the public.  Education can play vital role in terms of economic growth, ensure security and reconstruction, Samiullah, a Bamyan university student said.
He believed an illiterate individual could not work within a government department, saying education is the only way to help lead a student to become medical practitioner, engineer or a pilot.
Another residents of Bamyan city, Mohammad Kazim who has four children said: “If I did not allow my children to get education, how they will be able to have a bright future and serve their people.” He demanded the Afghan government to concentrate on the education sector.
Students and Teachers:
Many teachers complained of low salaries, saying they prompted to do other works due to low salaries, with the move has negatively hit the education.  Mohammad Aman, a school teacher at Shibar area of Bamyan, said many schoolteachers have to do other works in unofficial time due to low salaries.
He noted if they had good package then they would take preparations for teaching issues and not need to seek for part time duties. However, a number of students identified absenteeism of teachers, lack of good education environment and textbooks as their main problems.
Andalib, an eleventh grade student said sometimes they did not receive textbooks until half of academic year.
He said the move prompted them to purchase textbooks in the bazaar, complaining they faced many problems in a number of subjects as a result of lack of teachers.
But a number of students complained their teachers used to take their pupils to force them to work in their farm land instead of teaching them in schools.
One of culturists in Bamyan, Mohammad Mihdi Mihrayeen believed good education environment was favorable for students but the officials concerned did not support the sector as needed.
Most of the Bamyanis families allowed their sons and daughters to go to schools but some families barred their children from schools when the students failed to learn anything.
A civil society and human rights activist, Mohammad Ismail Zaki said students reserved the right to have access to education, asking the authorities and families not to deprive their children of the right.
Some of families preventing their young girls from schools due to economic problems, he said, adding Afghan government was needed to facilitate progress of education.
Another member of the provincial council, Mohammad Aziz Shafaq called recruitment of unprofessional teachers a mere wastage of time, saying his panel was assisting the sector to remove the problems of lack of professional teachers.