Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Tuesday, 22 March 2011

School Report 2011: Afghan pupils want sports equipment

The BBC School Reporters of Tawhid High School in Herat, Afghanistan
Tawhid High School pupils want the equipment to play more sport

By Mohammad, 15,
Ninth grade, Tawhid High School, Herat, Afghanistan

Students in Herat don't get to see much sports equipment, particularly in state schools. Sometimes it doesn't exist at all.

Not even at Sulta Ghiasuddin High School, which is one of the top schools in Herat Province. I went there to interview a few students.

Abdul is in the 10th grade. He says that the education department does not pay much attention to school sport.

"Students purchase balls and nets themselves. The students don't have proper sports kits and the teachers don't help them either," he said.

And that is not the only complaint. Humayoun - another student - says there's little time for exercise in the school week.

"We study for 48 hours a week, but we have only one hour for exercise. Teachers show up late and we will be left with just 15 to 20 minutes. Then they tell us that the time is up and to go to our classes."

Humayoun says he wants officials to change things.

I took the complaint to Azizurrahman Sarwari, the head of the Herat education department. He says they will try to listen.

The BBC School Reporters of Tawhid High School in Herat, Afghanistan
Some of the School Reporters of Tawhid High School

"We always try our best to improve education and training. Sport certainly plays a great role in improving students' behaviour. If we have little equipment in some schools, we'll try to improve that in the new year," he said.

Mr Sarwari says his department has assigned a delegation to look into these problems.

Some schools in Herat Province do not have proper sports grounds either, which sometimes results in students getting hurt.

Fraidon Tahiri is the head of sports at the Herat education department.

We asked him why don't they solve such problems?

"We talked to some organisations just a few days ago, but only one of them was prepared to set up a playing field at Sultan High School," he said. We have already one sports ground, which is Herat stadium."

Mr Tahiri said he was grateful that the sports authorities in Herat were organising matches at the stadium and is asking them also to create sports grounds at schools.

Most of the teachers say that students are generally interested in sport, but that they need more equipment.

Students play basketball, football and volleyball but lack of equipment is one of the realities here
Teacher Nasir Ahmad Shirzad

One sports teacher at Enqilab high school, Nasir Ahmad Shirzad, says students are playing lots of different sports.

"We exercise two times a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, even in very cold weather in winter.

"There are 120 students playing basketball, football and volleyball. But lack of equipment is one of the realities here and we are struggling with it."

The teachers believe that exercise keeps students physically healthy and can also keep them away from drugs.

They ask the authorities to take sports seriously, so that more pupils get interested and the country can produce athletes to compete at international tournaments and gain a reputation and pride for their country.




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