Militants’ war on education in Afghanistan

“Education is increasingly a casualty in Afghanistan,” a briefing note by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) recently observed. The note was in reaction to a larger, comprehensive report by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), titled ‘Education Under Attack’, which studies the impact of conflict on education in 28 countries. According to the report, Afghanistan, along with Nigeria, suffered the most number of attacks against students and educators. Indeed, as conflict in the country surges, educational facilities find themselves threatened or caught in the crossfire. In the latest such attack, a suicide bombing inside a classroom in Kabul on Wednesday killed 48 people, many of them students preparing for the national university entrance exams. Claimed by the Islamic State (IS), the attack targeted the minority Shia Hazara community. In June, some schools for girls were forced to shut following threats from the IS. Separately, over a 100 schools in Logar province were briefly closed, allegedly by local Taliban groups. Last month, the Malikyar Hotak High School in Khogyani district of the eastern province of Nangarhar came under attack, resulting in the beheading of three staff members.

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