The problem of using schools as voter registration centers

Monday, 28 May 2018 03:18 Written by  Read 81 times

The enhancement of literacy is viewed as the most logical and effective approach to get out of the current affliction. School is the first step of the journey towards that goal. It is school that will gear new Afghan generation up for helping their country “stand on its own feet,” and produce the future political leaders of the country who will be shaping the future of next generations. Afghanistan has long nurtured hopes for a bright future at a very high human cost. Despite the unending war, violence and killings, schools were open to students in many regions of the country until a few years ago. Irrespective of the quality of education, the existence of opened schools was a great aspiration.
By using schools as voter registration centers, the government added to the woes the Afghan education sector has been grappling with over recent years. Not only has the establishment of voter registration centers in schools hurt the education process, but the schools have also become “soft targets” for Taliban attacks. Since the inception of voter registration process, a number of schools have been targeted by militants, while some others have been closed due to insurgent threats.
Election, no doubt, is a key priority; however, the election for which arrangements are now underway is not worth a disruption of the education process at schools. Widespread fraud is inevitable in the upcoming parliamentary and district council election given the preparations and voter registration process. When election cannot represent the will of people, and the powerful and rich once again win seats in Wolesi Jirga and district councils, why the education process at schools should be disrupted.
For Afghan people, it makes no difference who the strongmen are, and which strongmen secure seats in the parliament to protect their individual interests. They only want education for their children, which is their basic human right and no one can deprive them of it. If the government cannot pave the way for standard schooling, it should not at least divest the people of the very basic education opportunities available to them. People don’t oppose election, but nontransparent election is not worthwhile for depriving Afghan students of education.

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