Friday, March 19, 2010

Afghan boy travels to Pakistani border town daily to study

LANDIKOTAL: Wajid Khan, a 13-year-old boy from Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, has to cross the Pak-Afghan border on daily basis to attend his school located in a border village of Pakistan.

“I have realised my dream to get quality education and want to pursue higher education in an international university,” Wajid Khan, who is an orphan and hails from Pekhay Khwar area in Nangarhar province, told The News.

Like hundreds of other Afghan students, Wajid Khan has an ambition to become an engineer. He said it was his desire to study in a foreign country for quality education. For the purpose, he added, his family members brought him to Bacha Mina area near Torkham in Khyber Agency for quality education.

Wajid Khan’s father died when he was an infant. He was only five-year-old when his mother brought him to Bacha Mina and left him with his maternal uncle. He got admission in the Oxford Public High School in Landikotal in Kids Group (KG) class. And now, “by the grace of Almighty Allah, I am in 7th class,” he said. Wajid, who has been a position-holder throughout his educational career, said he would continue to work hard in future to win better position.

Wajid Khan said students of his area faced several problems like unavailability of public transport, power outages and payment of school dues. But now he is not only paying his school dues but also earning money for his family.

Wajid nowadays works as a porter at the Torkham border, and earns about Rs200 per day. He said he struggled and convinced his mother and uncle to support him to get education and they backed him despite their poverty.

Wajid Khan has four younger siblings, including a sister and three brothers. He said he also desired to admit them in his school in Pakistan. He said along with other hurdles, the border security personnel questioned him whenever he did not have his school identity card. “Now I make it a point to carry my card and I hang it around my neck to facilitate my movement across the border,” he explained.

To a question, he said there was no standard syllabus in Afghanistan and this prompted him and many other Afghans to seek admission in a Pakistani school. “English and computer education taught to us in our school in Pakistan are the requirements of the modern age and those who learn it can contribute to the welfare and prosperity of the war-hit Afghan nation,” Wajid Khan said.