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Sep 7, 2012 - 16:16
KABUL (PAN): “Illiteracy has literally made life miserable for me. I’m finding it very hard to make ends meet but my brother -- a teacher by profession -- is leading a happy life,” says Baz Mohammad.
Although the 53-year-old from eastern Kunar province has spent most of his life doing a variety of manual works, he is yet to heave a sigh of relief. He being the elder son helped his father eke out a living for his family.
Unable to go to school for reasons of poverty, he told Pajhwok Afghan News: “I’ve done all manual jobs you can think of. And to boot, I have to put up with abusive language at times, in the hope of earning a few pennies.”
Still mired in penury and not capable of doing strenuous work, his children -- two sons and five daughters -- are too small to supplement his income. Despite all his woes, Mohammad wants his children to receive education.
Having experienced the disadvantages of being uneducated, the man does not want his children to toil like him. His sons are 9th and 5th grade students. However, his daughters can’t go to school because of insecurity in the area.
On the other hand, his 40-year-old brother Khan Mohammad became a teacher after completing his school education. “Being an educated man, my brother is enjoying better economic conditions and respect from people.”
A fruit cart vendor in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar, Abdullah gets up early in the morning and returns home in the evening. In an effort to support his family, he has to work from dawn to dusk in harsh weather conditions.
“If I had received education, my life would have been less tired and less anguished,” remarked the 35-year-old, frustration writ large on his face. He has this piece of advice for youth: Focus on education for a bright and prosperous future.
Sharifullah, 33, a taxi driver, is faced with similar problems due illiteracy. “My elders would send me to school, but I clung to truancy. Today, I’m so repentant. But there is no use crying over spilt milk.” His message to youngsters: Time once gone cannot be recalled.
A religious scholar from neighbouring Kandahar province says Islam sets great store by education. Maulana Abdur Rahman adds Hazrat Adam (AS) gained an upper hand over angels because of knowledge.