Information obtained by TOLOnews show that at least 70 madrassas, religious schools, are operating illegally in Paktia province, in the east of Afghanistan, where thousands of students are receiving education.
Paktia governor Shamim Khan Katawazi said a commission has been assigned to register the madrassas and that it will start its work in the near future.
“Our information shows that these madrassas are not registered in government therefore we have assigned a team which will travel to all districts and visit religious scholars and owners of madrassas,” he said. “The team will provide government’s facilities to the madrassas and will put them in an official process.”
He said madrassas will be advised to adopt government’s curriculum and that there is no ban on religious subjects to be thought in the schools.
Provincial education directorate says only 16 madrassas are registered in the department.
According to the directorate, at least 9,000 students are studying in the registered religious schools in Paktia.
“We have three types of religious schools in Paktia: the first two types are under control of the education department but the last type is not registered.
Government’s curriculum is thought in official and registered madrassas,” provincial education director Kochi Zazai said.
The remarks were made after Paktia governor and other senior officials from the province inaugurated work on construction of a new religious school in the province.
One member of Paktia Provincial Council said government should pay attention to madrassas in the country to prevent the Afghan youth from going out of the country for religious studies.
“Government has registered madrassas in every district therefore youths are urged not to travel abroad for religious studies,” said Abdul Malik Zazai, head of Paktia Provincial Council.
“We urge government to build more madrassas in our area in order to prevent the young generation from traveling to Pakistan for religious studies. Those who study in Pakistan are trained in a different way and are sent back to Afghanistan for destruction,” said Zarkhkan, a tribal elder.
Some residents of Paktia said the number of unregistered madrassas in the province might be higher than found by government.