Schools should be safe sanctuaries!

Posted on August 28, 2018 in Story 359 view

Education International laments the cruel and devastating school bombing in the west part of Kabul, Afghanistan which killed 48 students and wounded 57 others.

A suicide bomber walked into the education centre during lessons and detonated his bomb belt, authorities said. Most of the victims were young men and women who had recently graduated from high school. They were preparing their university entrance exams. All the victims were under 20 years old.

“My children weren’t fighting in a war; they were students who had gone there to study,” Hassan Rahimi, the father of twins who died in the attack told the local press. “What crime had they committed to deserve such a horrific death? They were both so excited to take their exams,” Rahimi says, “they would be up until 2 a.m. every night studying. I would plead with them to sleep, but they wouldn’t listen.” 

The devastated father added that his daughter “Farzana was always saying she wanted to be a teacher and give back to her country,” and his son Atta wanted to become a lawyer. “It’s an unbearable loss for us,” Rahimi says. “But these children who were killed, including my own, were the future of the country. They are also Afghanistan’s loss. They were the next generation of doctors, engineers, and teachers.”

The attack occurred on August 15th in the Mawoud education centre, in the mainly Shia area of Dasht-i Barcha in Kabul.The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. The terror group has targeted Shia areas many times before. In the past two years, there were at least 13 attacks on the Shia community in Kabul alone.

According to a local Shia community leader, the bomber apparently targeted the course, which had young men and women studying together.

Education International deplores these incidents and believes all schools should be safe sanctuaries in which all students have an equal opportunity to reach their highest potential in a peaceful learning and teaching environment.

In 2015, Afghanistan was among the first countries to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, committing itself to protect students, teachers, schools, and universities from attacks in situations of conflict. These attacks must come to an end. 

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