"The people of this country know the value of education. I just had to assure them of their investment."
These were the words of Assadullah Kohistani, principal of the Ghulam Haider Khan High School for boys in Kabul, a school of some 9,000 students thirsty for a future different from the past three decades of violence in Afghanistan, as reported in a beautiful essay by Afghan journalist Mujib Mashal for Al Jazeera here.
The 'education obsession' espoused by Afghans is inescapable to anyone who visits Afghanistan. The foremost issue on the minds of many Afghans is their own education or their children's. In a country that is mostly young-- 43.6% of the population is under 14 years of age and the median age is 18-- this embracing of education gives reason to hope that Afghanistan's upcoming generation may do things differently. The correlation between illiteracy, fundamentalism, poverty and conflict has not been lost on Afghans, and their hunch is confirmed by mounds of empirical data that point to a strong link between peace and quality education.
This was part of my message at...More >>