EDUCATION OF NOMAD CHILDREN IN THE NORTH &amp; EAST OF AFGHANISTAN : Models, challenges and opportunities
AbstractEducation system in Afghanistan has been designed in a way that doesn’t suit the Kuchi life style. This is one of the reasons, as found by the study too that Kuchi children to a large extent are deprived of education. Another words, as mentioned, education in this country has mainly been confined to geographically fixed schools and schooling period. The latter makes education for Kuchi children more challenging than the former, because if a child wants to pass from one grade to another must spend a fixed period in a fixed location and school, however, Kuchi families are moving and cannot stay in one place for the required longer period while in addition, they are living normally in remote areas which make access to facilities including education harder for the Kuchi children. The overall aim of this study is to explore challenges and opportunities as well alternative models and ways at national and international level that maybe applicable to provide education for Kuchi children in Afghanistan. To achieve the aim and objectives, number of focus group discussions and interviews were made with different groups at different levels. This study found, contrary to people prejudice, that Kuchi are very much excited to see their children including their daughters in schools and educated. But the issue of how education can be reached to their children has not been widely consulted and discussed with the Kuchi people. Though efforts have been made and education to a limited extent have been provided but the approaches seem to have been ‘top down’ and Kuchi as the real beneficiary passively been targeted to receive the services rather than actively ‘involved’ in the process. The governmental structures e.g. the concerned departments established at the central and provincial level were found to be less efficient and effective so that to fulfill the requirements of the Kuchi children for education. All in all, more efforts and wider consultations through a bottom up approach need to be made in Afghanistan in order to provide education for Kuchi children in an adequate way. According to the findings of this study, Kuchi are very much keen to be consulted and their voice to be heard, because majority of them, if the educational situation suits them, want education while keeping their pastoral life. They have come up with some suggestions too for solving their children education issues. Though Kuchi people were insisting more on mobile schools and school with dormitories but there are other models that are used in other countries e.g. in Nigeria which are distance learning through mobile phone, radio-based learning etc. which are applicable in Afghanistan too. Finally, in order to find out further causes and factors that why Kuchi children are deprived of education, more studies and researches need to be made all over the country.