Panjshir governor gives keynote speech at grand opening for his Alma Mater PDF Print E-mail
Written by Capt. Jillian Torango Panjshir PRT Public Affairs   
Tuesday, 22 July 2008

080716_F_2805T_001.jpgPANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (July 22, 2008) — More than 600 villagers and students attended the grand opening of the 16-room Obdara High School, Wednesday, in Obdara, Anaba District, Panjshir.

Gov. Hajji Bahlol, Panjshir’s provincial governor, was the keynote speaker.  Not only is Bahlol the Provincial Governor, but he is a native of Anaba and went to the Obdara School when he was a young boy.

“I studied in this same school before there was a building and you are lucky to have this good building,” said Governor Bahlol of the new $237,000 school.  “When I was a boy we used to study under the trees with only one teacher teaching 300 to 400 students.”

Now, the new two-story school building will accommodate at least 3,000 students from throughout the Anaba District.

“I know the challenges and issues that you face as students. It was very hard for me to even buy a pen while at the same time I worked on my parent’s farm and studied,” he said.  “But now there is this good building with pens and supplies so there should be no problems with your learning.”

After the governor’s opening remarks, the Panjshir PRT commander said a few words.

“This school is not only a symbol of your future but it is also a symbol of sacrifice,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Russell Kaskel.  “Some of your fathers and brothers were not able to study because of their struggles during the war for freedom.  Those men were not given the opportunity to study and their sacrifice has made it possible for you to study today.”

Bahlol has been the governor in Panjshir for just over four years and one of his main focuses has been to provide schools where the children and the prospective teachers of his province can learn.

“When I became the governor of this province, two of the biggest issues were the lack of teachers and the need for school buildings,” said Bahlol.  “There were only 14 school houses back then but hopefully next year there will not be a community without a school.”

The schools also include a college that educates the teachers.

“The Teacher’s Training College here in Anaba is working hard to build our capacity for teachers,” said Bahlol. “[When a school is built] we will have teachers to teach in them.”

Bahlol went on to say that many of the doctors and engineers in Panjshir are from Anaba and went to the Obdara School.

“I hope this school will do what it has done so very well in the past--produce good students and good citizens for Obdara,” said Bahlol. “I am very proud to say that I used to be a student in this school. Study as hard as you can and you can do anything.”

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