Nov.20,2017--Adele Khodr, UNICEF's representative in Afghanistan, receives an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on Nov. 15, 2017. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative in Afghanistan has expressed concerns over the status of children, poor access to school, and malnutrition in Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Jawid Omid)
KABUL, Nov.20,2017-- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative in Afghanistan has expressed concerns over the status of children, poor access to school, and malnutrition in Afghanistan.
"We have very serious concern about the education of children in Afghanistan, because there are 3.5 million children who are out of school; while they are supposed to be in school," Adele Khodr, UNICEF's country representative, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
She said 75 percent of those 3.5 million children out of school are girls.
In conflict-hit Afghanistan where people, mostly in the countryside deeply believe in old traditions, many parents are reluctant to send their girls to school due to security concerns and cultural barriers.
"Even if the girls go to school, they leave the school earlier, when they became age of 12 or 15 years," the UNICEF representative said.
In the militancy-plagued areas where armed opposition groups including Taliban and Islamic State (IS) outfits are active, many schools remain closed, according to local officials in the countryside.
Early this year, an official with the Ministry of Education, Asadullah Mohaqiq, while briefing Mushrano Jirga or upper house of parliament, confirmed that 1,005 schools remained closed across the conflict-hit Afghanistan due to security problems, poverty and other reasons, depriving countless children including girls of the chance to get education.