Attacks on schools, students, and educators under the umbrella of religion are an end – to the future.
The outcry against worldly oppression has always been a damning one, but the only echoes that circumnavigate the globe are when victims are denied the right to literacy. While it is clear the manifestations of such oppressors are always pro-peace, one must wonder how a pen can ever be mightier than the sword that seems to cut through it?
It is evident that multiple races have suffered around the globe - The Afghans have suffered a long-lasting war on literacy for the past three decades and just recently the decision to ban girls from secondary schooling and boys from higher education has further nailed the coffin of education.
The irony lies in how such practitioners are growing focus in the name of ‘Islam’ and hindering academics when Muslim declarations were deep-rooted with science and technology 1400 years ago.
There was a ray of hope when the American forces exited the region. However, that joy was short-lived since the new regime in Kabul surprised the politically elected government with a chaotic reversal by the Taliban, in a struggle to prove legitimacy.
Education has been at the center of power struggles in Afghanistan since the 1900s. There has been an unfortunately long history of manipulators in both primary and secondary education systems who, for their own benefit, have been trying to balance local desires of maintaining religious and cultural identities with a global need for modernization at the cost of continuity for the students.
The non-western world predominantly adopted schools throughout colonization however, the misalignment of traditional education systems and globally recognized modern literacy systems have become a source of conflict for poor Afghans, depriving them of basic rights.
Conflict affects education through the death or displacement of teachers and students. For example, during Rwandan genocide. By damaging schools, libraries, and educational infrastructure, educational facilities being explicit targets. For example, 670 attacks took place on schools in 2008.
The damage and devastation can find no words, as completing schooling has become a distant dream for students on all levels of the fragile state of Afghanistan today. I being a girl and being pro-education and peace can only hope, pray and raise my voice against these excruciating generational deprivations and pray the right stakeholders which seem hardest – to – reach mobilize and give voice to the voiceless and provide emergency education in regions like Afghanistan where fear and violence persist.