Facts and realities from the world history are demonstrating that universities and academic spectrum have always functioned as the cornerstone for nurturing elites, the production and reproduction of wisdom, social consciousness, cultural awareness and political awareness, having paved the way for and strengthening human development and civilization.
After the brutal 9/11 incident and the subsequent global alterations introduced as the result of the generous supports and technical assistance of International Community, along with comprehensive efforts of Afghan politicians, it was anticipated that Afghanistan would experience more constructive and deeper changes at higher education stage so that, on one hand; it could produce technical and professional cadres for filling the social, cultural and educational gaps, and on the other hand; the higher education graduates, experts and academic professionals could play vital roles at establishing long term communication and understanding among citizens belonging to different ethnic, regional and religious groups.
Unfortunately, recent examples of some regretful contingencies occurred throughout the academic institutions of Afghanistan, it has depicted an unpleasant fact that most academic institutions suffer lack of competent cadres, outdate and non-standardized teaching curriculum, lack of required technologies and equipment that have tremendously affected negatively overall situation of the academics. In addition, there are numerous evidences of inhuman approaches of some lectures and management personnel of the universities towards students, particularly against those who feel unsatisfied about the quality of teaching and learning process. Anyone who have spent his/her some days as a student of the public universities, have many unsaid stories of prejudice, discrimination and unjust treatments of the teachers and other university personnel. But most of the students hardly can reveal such hidden stories due to threats hey receive again and again.
Following very few examples of such strikes and protests, on-going hunger strike that started six days ago in Kabul has been incredibly shocking and agonizing. More than 200 students from the Social Science Faculty of Kabul University turned to go on indefinite hunger strike to rise up their voices against injustice and discrimination; and since then, they have been persisting Ministry of Higher Education to bring essential changes at management and curriculum levels. But unfortunately, yet, they have not received any practical and logical response. As a result, right now the health conditions of the strikers are deteriorating second after second and many of them have been sent to hospitals for survival.
The signatories of this resolution statement, who are comprised of civil society and human rights activists while strongly supporting the legal demands of the strikers, would like to bring up the following points as their unchangeable propositions to Ministry of Higher Education. However, they are ready to continue their struggle until the last possible moments:
1. Promptly satisfying responses to the legal demands, propositions of the strikers and embarking on immediate decisions to end the strike peacefully;
2. Establish a transparent and just system to guarantee meritocracy, professionalism and competitive based recruitment and employment;
3. Implement well-planned programs aiming at standardization, up-to-date, review and develop the education curriculum and textbooks;
4. Follow and inspect particular examples of discriminated and harmful treatments of such specific faculty personnel, and enforce appropriate mechanism for disciplining, punishment and their expulsion from the academic institutions.
5. Provide practical scales to ensure freedom of speech, open discussion academically healthy and constructive interaction within the university departments and academic environments.
With Best Regards,
The Afghanistan Civil Society and Human rights Activists.
25 May, 2013