Figures by the provincial directorate of education in Kandahar reveal that at least 800 girls were graduated from high school in the province this year – which according to local officials shows a slight increase compared with previous years that was between 200 to 400 girls.
The Kandahar Education Directorate’s figures show that there are 377 schools in the province with 362,000 students including 79,000 girls. The figures show that almost 100 schools have remained closed in the province.
The figures further show that up to 60 percent of girls leave schools before graduation from high school due to security issues, families’ traditions and a dominant tradition against girls in the society.
“Last year, we reported that at least 60 percent of girls left schools before graduation but this year the number of high school graduates among girls was 800 while this figure was between 200 to 400 girls in previous years,” Abdul Qadir Paiwastoon, the provincial director of education, told TOLOnews on Thursday.
“There are some problems in this sector but we continue our efforts to address them and they will be solved in the near future,” he added.
Students from Kandahar girls’ schools said they pay lots of efforts for completion of their school terms due to problems in their society.
Maryam, a high school graduate from Kandahar, said three girls from her class left school at 10th grade.
“Many girls from our relatives and neighbors went to school and were very talented but they left school when they got married and all their dreams remained unfulfilled,” said Maryam.
Sona, a high school graduate from Kandahar, said she is concerned that despite some improvements still many families are not giving their daughters the equal rights as they provide it for boys.
“This problem is more common in Kandahar compared with other provinces because families are concerned about our security and they think that the society is not ready to accept that girls would go out of home for school and education,” said Sona.
Figures out by Ministry of Education in September show that 3.7 million children are deprived of education in the country.
According to figures by UNESCO in September, Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, currently estimated at about 31 percent of the adult population (over 15 years of age).
Female literacy levels are on average 17 percent, with high variation, indicating a strong geographical and gender divide, the UNESCO indicate.
The figures show that the highest female literacy rate, for instance is 34.7 percent, found in the capital, Kabul, while rates as low as 1.6 percent was found in two southern provinces of the country. Male literacy rates average about 45 percent, again with high variation. The highest male literacy rates are in Kabul, at 68 percent, while the lowest is found in Helmand, at 41 percent.