USAID’s administrator, Mr. Rajiv Shah, talks about his project related to education in Afghanistan. He explains that US sees education in Afghanistan as a major driving force towards prosperity especially education for girls in Afghanistan that can create better economic and job prospects for its population. Due to US efforts on the ground, 8 million children are now going to school every day in Afghanistan. Some of these children are pursuing higher education and attending American University in Afghanistan. The intent is to get most children to school to help Afghanistan stand on its feet in the longer run.
He speaks very highly of the use of mobile money to encourage and empower students especially girl students to study and excel. Rajiv feels that mobile money is very important in strengthening the children economically and also providing the much needed boost to keep them in schools and prevent them from dropping out. Education in Afghanistan needs these initiatives for sustenance and growth. They are working with mobile operators to increase connectivity so that mobile services reach the remotest areas possible and to the most secluded of population as well. Mobile connectivity could enable many other objectives apart from education.
One of the primary objectives of USAID is to enable more girls to go to school. During the times of Taliban, girls were banned from getting education. Today, out of the 8 million students going to school due to USAID’s efforts, over 38% are girl students. This is definitely an encouraging sign. Much more needs to be done in terms of creating the right infrastructure like more schools, training more women teachers etc. that can help the cause of girls’ education in Afghanistan. The consequences of not educating women are disastrous not only to the economy but culturally as well. An educated woman is empowered to take informed decisions. She can be gainfully employed to support her family as well as encourage other members of her family towards education. It is absolutely crucial that women be encouraged to come into the mainstream of Afghan economy and a start towards that objective is being made by getting more of them to schools. Almost all aid agencies working on the ground in Afghanistan are committed towards the cause of education in Afghanistan.
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