Education in Afghanistan: War and Instability in Afghanistan Will Not End Until the Door to a Better

Posted By: Zakat Foundation of America

Nov 14, 2009

At one time the educational system in Afghanistan was good enough to attract students from other parts of Asia and the Middle East, but a slow decline set in after the Soviet invasion of 1979 (BBC World Service Case Study: Education in Afghanistan. URL). The subsequent Taliban rule and initial US bombing and invasion helped to put the Afghani education system on its deathbed.

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Although the war in Afghanistan is costing millions of dollars a day to sustain, eight years of occupation has not improved the situation of the average Afghani citizen. Today Afghanistan’s education system is said to have some of the “lowest educational indicators in the world.” This means that the system is practically in ruin with only a small amount of functioning schools and universities that are often understaffed and housed in dilapidated buildings.

If the people of Afghanistan are going to have a fair chance for a stable future, quality education is going to provide that future. This is why Zakat Foundation has reconstructed primary schools and assists higher education students in completing their educations. Poor university students need consistent support to ensure their successful graduation. Students can attend public universities for free, but many, including those students that Zakat Foundation supports, face tremendous difficulty in actually attending classes. Students from stressed financial situations often have difficulty paying the additional costs that come with attending university, such as room and board, school supplies, clothing and even transportation costs. It is for this reason that Zakat foundation, through our local partner in Afghanistan, is supporting almost 200 students at the various universities in Afghanistan. This is an ongoing program for which we continue to accept donations because the need does not cease. With each school year, more poor students in Afghanistan struggle to bridge the gap between their needs and the available resources.

Muhammad Yasin

Muhammad Yasin is a twenty-three year old third-year student at Kunduz Educational Institute. Muhammad’s family is not able to help him with the expenses of being a student. His father, who for many years was sole breadwinner for six children(three have since married) , is now too old to work and does not receive retirement benefits, as these are not presently offered by the Afghani government. Currently, all of Muhammad’s living expenses are covered by the donations of generous Muslims. This support allows him to focus on his studies and to someday, insha’Allah, have a successful career that will allow him to contribute to the development of his country.

Mir Wais

Mir Wais is a twenty-six year old student originally from Badakhshan, Afghanistan. He is from a farming family of twelve children that migrated to Mezari Sherif when he was seven years old after losing all of their worldly possessions due to outbreaks of war in their area. Despite such difficulty, Mir graduated from the Bakhtor secondary school in Mezari Sherif and was accepted to study English Literature at Takhar University. He is now in his third year and lives in a student apartment building established by Zakat Foundation and its local partner. The funds given by Zakat Foundation donors go towards providing students like Mir with living quarters and basic amenities. But there is still more that can be done. For example, students now sleep on cushioned mats on the ground. We hope that additional donations will allow us to provide them with standard sized beds and other facilities that will permit them to comfortably focus on their studies.

Muhammad Isa

Muhammad Isa, who is twenty-one, was excited to be accepted to study Law at Balkh University but could not imagine how he would afford the expenses of student life. As the eldest son in a poor family of nine children from Kunduz, Afghanistan, he had no expectation of getting help from his family. Still, he could not give up his dream of a college education and so he decided to register at the University even though he had no means to pay for housing or other necessities. By the Grace of Allah, he met someone at registration who told him about the assistance for housing and school expenses for underprivileged students that Zakat Foundation helps fund along with its local partner. He applied for the services and was accepted due to his sincere need.

- Zakat Foundation of America | Zakat Calculator | Muslim Charity | Muslim Aid

Making education accessible to the average person in Afghanistan is about more than constructing buildings or installing computer facilities. The realities of poverty and strained family circumstances must be taken into account. The stories of these three young men, who are just a small sampling of the students who have benefited from the generosity of Zakat Foundation’s donors, show that it is possible to truly make education accessible to Afghanistan’s disadvantaged. For sums of money that seem insignificant to a person living in the West the trajectory of an entire family’s life, perhaps even that of a country, can be transformed by Allah’s (SWT) permission.

Zakat Foundation of America, a Muslim charity that collects zakat, sadaqa / donations to provide humanitarian, emergency relief and sustainable development programs to empower lives throughout the world. We offer top Zakat resources including The Zakat Handbook: A Practical Guide for Muslims in the West, Zakat kit, ask an Imam feature, and you can calculate and pay zakat through our easy, online calculator.

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