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Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 31, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Education in Afghanistan: Congress should do more to help children worldwide

Thank you for Lance Dickie’s excellent column about education in Afghanistan [“An educator’s optimism for Afghanistan,” Opinion, March 27].

I saw impressive figures from the BBC in the last month. It reports that there are currently 10.5 million kids in Afghan schools now, 42 percent of them girls. Where there were just 400 teachers being trained in 2004, according to the minister of education, there are now 77,000 teachers being trained, and most of them are women.

While attacks on schools have not ended, the minister has reported that literacy is the starting point for much wider changes, including stopping people from being suicide bombers.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is leading a lot of the progress being made in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the developing world. The GPE will be holding a conference to raise funds in June. While the U.K. is pledging more than $1 billion to the GPE, if the U.S. would pledge even $250 million over the next two years, we could help get more of the 57 million children of primary-school age around the developing world into school. Let’s ask Congress to make it a priority.

Bob Dickerson, Seattle

Comments | More in Afghanistan, Education | Topics: Afghanistan, Bob Dickerson, children

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