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The Role of Unregistered Religious Schools in Promoting Violence and Extremism

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 22 May 2017
Community and media Center Balkh (Maulana Peace House) in the framework of its monthly media meetings organized an event to analyze the role of unregistered religious schools in promoting violence and extremism. Sixteen participants including civil society activists, journalists, reporters, young male and female students and social advocates took part.
In the course of discussion, participants underscored unregistered religious schools besides war, violence, drug, corruption, lawlessness, impunity of criminals from punishment as a promoting driver of violence and extremism in Afghanistan, including Balkh province.
Participants also pointed out that the lack government’s oversight over the functioning and content of the curriculum of religious schools is another factor of rising violence and extremism. Participants of the event believed that such lack of oversight allows unregistered religious schools to breed violent thought and spread it into wide society.   
Experts at the discussion suggested measured oversight over unregistered religious schools by respective government authorities especially on subject and materials taught at the schools. They also stressed on capitalizing on religious education to improve quality of teaching and outcome and asked civil society representative and responsible government agencies to establish oversight network for the activities of religious schools.
Participants of the event asked the departments of Haj and Islamic Affairs to register schools operating outside the government system and work in collaboration with the schools to improve and modernize reaching methods. And establish alternation schools in different areas to allow students to choose the one providing better education.
“Violence and religious extremism by unregistered religious schools pose a grave danger for our society as whole, I ask responsible government authorities to exercise oversight on these schools and improve their curriculum” says, Mukhtar Ahmadi, Balkh province representative at the Youth Parliament.  
Doctor Aseel Osmani, chairman of drug rehabilitation center for women in Balkh, believes that the failure of formal education to meet the religious needs of the community is an important issue and if formal education system is able to meet the needs of religious education for children, then most of the students will choose to be education by the formal education system instead of an education system that breeds violence and religious extremism.
According to official statistics there are about 700 unregistered madrasas operating in Balkh province alone of which 100 madrasas have been registered by officials and the rest operating freely.