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Time for all to keep schools running in Afghanistan

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Time for all to keep schools running in Afghanistan
 With the beginning of the New Year (Nowruz) in Afghanistan, millions of Afghan boys and girls rushing towards schools and the governmentauthorities during official ceremonies ring the schools’ bells, aiming to kick off the’ New School Years’across the country.
During over one and half decade, the Ministry of Education has been making promising announcements indicating the increasing number of school enrollment and the short-term programs launched to address the very basic needs of students, which is a matter of proud and happiness for the war-torn country.
With the highest rate of illiteracy following the Taliban ouster in late 2001, the international community backed Afghanistan to strongly combat illiteracy and promote education. Schools were built, teachers were recruited and new textbooks were developed to improve schooling in the war-wrecked Afghanistan. However, much remains to be done to overcome the challenge to educate Afghan boys and girls.
The current School Years begins today at the time that schools are still being threatened by extremist forces and lack the required standards in most parts of the country. Warning school students have turned to be a tactical instrument for the terrorists to spread their influence. There have been occurrences across the country in which the extremist elements sprayed acid on students’ faces, burnt school buildings, threatened parents, distributed pamphlets, calling for closure of girls’ schools and killed innocent children seeking education.
The year-long conflict in Afghanistan rendered dozens of schools shut and beside the government, the people’s cooperation is very much important and needed to reopen them. Efforts have to be doubled among local elders to prevent any kind of obstacles ahead of education and have to take every available measure to keep schools open. 
In fact, Islam advocated knowledge at a time when the whole world was engulfed in ignorance.  In a matter of years, the early generation of Muslims became a learned and refined people, for Islam had awakened in them the faculty of intellect.  Those early Muslims understood from the teachings of their religion that useful knowledge is necessary for the benefit of the self and of humanity.  Hence, they pursued it to such a degree that they surpassed other nations in development and productivity and carried the torch of civilization for many centuries.
The first and foremost condition for the vitality of a nation is acquisition of knowledge. In view of this, Islam has encouraged the people very much to acquire knowledge and science. As a matter of fact, it has made it obligatory for them. The Holy Prophet of Islam says:”It is obligatory for every Muslim, man and woman to acquire knowledge”.
Therefore, the Islamic governmentsare required to the best of their ability to provide all means that promote adequate education for citizens. The country’s Islamic scholars, intellectuals and even that of government officials are needed to raise awareness on education for both men and women across the country and prevent terrorists and extremists to threaten the students and schools.
Time is alsoripe for all of Afghans to work hard to keep reopen the schools and provide sound environment for their children to go to school as only by educated Afghan boys and girls, we can steer this country toward peace, stability and prosperity. 
Since insurgents are big barriers against education, it is of the essence for Taliban, Daesh and other insurgent outfits to respect civilians and civilian structures, including education institutions. All the parties engaged in conflict have to do more to protect schools such as prohibiting its fighters from using schools for military purposes.