Save the Children’s annual Global Childhood Report released on Tuesday shows that two out of five children are not in school in Afghanistan.
While the rates of child marriage have been reduced by 44% over the past 20 years, millions of children are still missing out on their childhood. The report says that Afghanistan is ranked 157th among 176 countries on children’s access to health care, education, nutrition and protection – as well as child labour, child marriage, displacement due to conflict and child homicide.
Other factors that explain the deteriorating condition are absenteeism, dropouts, stunted children, child mortality rate. The report has produced figures to show the disturbing scenarios measured across the aforesaid parameters. The rates of mortality amongst children under five (6.79%), child stunting (40.9%), children out of school (41.9%) and child labour (29.4%) are such respectively. coming to nutrition, a staggering 88% of Afghan children aged 6-24 months don’t receive the right amount of daily nutrition, according to UNICEF.
The survey finds that 15% of Afghanistan’s children have been forcibly displaced as a result of the conflict. Amongst these, many have had their education disrupted or their schools were taken over by armed groups or used for military purposes. This way the ongoing conflict is posing a hurdle in the education of the children of Afghanistan.
Even after various successful educational programmes by UNICEF and other organisations that also focus on girls, the targeted attacks on teachers, schools and other educational institutions have undoubtedly reduced the pace of change.
According to a report co-authored by Save the Children, in the first five months of 2018, the government recorded 870 attacks on schools, threats or intimidation against students, education staff or facilities, or fighting by armed forces and groups in the vicinity of school grounds.
Shockingly, approximately 1,000 schools are currently damaged, destroyed, occupied by non-state armed groups or Afghan and international forces, or closed because of conflict.
Conflict is affecting the educational situations in Afghanistan at calamitous levels and merely acknowledging them won’t bring the much-required difference. The government has to do something extra to improve the prevailing situations.