"Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit." Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
As it most basic level, education is important because it gives people the baseline skills to survive as adults in the world.
- More specifically, people need to get educated to get a well paid job and to get a stable life.
- People will have more chance to make money and to become financially independent.
- Education gives a social reputation
- Education gives to the people greater chances to contribute to his or her community.
- Being educated gives to the people more opportunities, no matter your gender or your nationality.
- Education will make people wiser and will help people to make their own decisions in life; they will feel confident about themselves.
- Education will save people from being fooled or cheated.
- More importantly, education is vital for the economic prosperity of a nation and to make the world a safer and more peaceful place.
An educated person will be able to turn their dreams into reality.
Afghanistan is located in the southern of Asia. The total population of Afghanistan is 32 million. 21.88% of the total population are students, that to say 7 million of students. Their education system consists of 6 years of elementary school from the age of 7 to 13, 3 years of middle school from the age of 13 to 16, and 3 more years of high school from the age of 16 to 19.
In Afghanistan, regarding to education, girls are having less rights than boys, their aren't enough schools for everyone and the conditions of educations are terrible. Education is a human right and everyone should be treated the same way.
The right we want: we want to choose our husband, we want to own the land, we want to go to school, we don't want to be cut anymore, we want also to make decisions, we want respect in politics, to be leaders, we want to be equal. - Rebecca Lolosoli
Being a girl in Afghanistan is not easy. Girls are underestimated and badly treated. Girls are receiving less education than boys and it will impact on their future and their opportunities.
- On the 7 million of students, only 37% of them are girls.
- Only 40% of Afghan girls attend elementary school, and only one in 20 girls attend school beyond the sixth grade.
- There are three times more boys than girls that attend school.
- While boys can have access to 13 years of schooling, girls only have access to 8 years.
- 85% of women have no formal education and are illiterate while only 48% of men have no formal education and are illiterate.
This situation is socially unjust, both girls and boys should be treated the same way. Back then, girls did not have access to education at all but now, they are starting to have more rights and their access to education is starting to become more just. But we are very far from the desired result because of the beliefs of the Afghan population.
- Some Afghan families permit their daughters to go to special schools for girls close to home. But very few such schools exist in the country.
- Other Afghan families believe that it is unnecessary for girls to attend school.
- Girls are also suffering of forced marriage. A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of parties is married without the personal consent of the person concerned. Girls are often being forced to marry someone at a very young age and as soon as they are being married, they must stop their education.
Unfortunately Afghan population is not agreeing with the few families letting their girls go to school and they are reacting with violence :
- Schools for girls have been burned down.
- Hundreds of teachers educating girls have been killed.
- Girls have been physically harmed while attending or walking to or from school.
Everyone has the right to school and even if the belief that girls shouldn't go to school is part of the Afghan population's culture, girls should have the right to express themselves to attend school to get educated.
An other issue, more general, is that the government is not proving enough schools to the Afghan population.
- In total there are 16,000 schools. Another 8,000 schools are required to be constructed for the remaining three million children who are deprived of education.
- Almost half of school-aged children in Afghanistan don’t have access to education.
This is not fair to the population because those children are deprived from education whereas they could have the possibility to get educated if only they had a proper establishment.
This is leading to another issue; because those children don't have the possibility to go to school, the inhabitants are constructing little schools but they have very few resources. The schools have a poor quality and the children are not able to learn properly.
Children have also been affected by the intensifying conflict in Afghanistan against the Taliban. Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan currently waging war within that country.
Children have been attacked at school. Some children have been killed or severely injured. Others have been illegally recruited by the Taliban and are now forced to obey to them. Those children are sometimes being used as human bomb to scared the Afghan population. The Taliban is learning them to use weapons. They are becoming killers. Children are easy targets because they are easily influenced.