10 years old children attend classes under scorching sun in Sharana of Paktika province. A total of 78 students including two girls are enrolled in Hisababa School. The students come from tormikhai and hisa baba villages whose school was burnt down by insurgents a month ago. Abdul Ghafoor the teacher said “the reason we have picked this location is, it is the central location for both villages and it’s close to a security checkpoint”
This year the number of students returning to school in paktika has substantially increased, but it’s still surprising to see children in the open air, with no chair or mattress and hardly a couple of books attending a school next to a bumpy road with US armors blowing dust at them, as they pass by real fast.
The two teachers in the school receive no wage or support from the government or any NGO. “I think it’s the right thing to do and I don’t have another job” said Bacha Gul one of the teachers as he was waving a long stick to the students so they stay calm.
Paktika is considered a volatile province with a long border with Pakistan and a high rate of cross border insurgency. “THEY fire rockets at our compound at nights when moon is full. they can’t fire more than three, the security forces spot them after firing two, but one time bastards got my generator” said Russell the logistic officer for UNOPS.
Christian, a colleague and I went to Paktika to assess/survey the possibility of expanding radio voice of paktika reach before parliamentary election.
The PRT is going to pay for six repeaters to be installed in the next few months. If the project happen, it’s the first province in the country which most of its population is covered by FM signal.