January 11th, 2011
07:23 AM ET

Taliban casts long shadow over Afghan schools

"An apple," English teacher Asadullah writes and reads out on the board. A simple word, perhaps, but here speaking and teaching English is something of a novelty and for the U.S. military and Afghan government a success - albeit small.

It would not have been possible four months ago when soldiers from the 101st Airborne arrived in Andar district in Afghanistan's Ghazni province - the first American presence in the area in two years.

"The school was empty, it was essentially a ghost town," Captain Justin Quisenberry recalled. "We found a passerby and asked, 'where are all the students, the teachers?' He said it had been closed for a couple of years, the Taliban threatened us. It's just not a safe place to have classes."

An indication of just how powerful the Taliban has been in this area is the turnout for the country's September elections. Just three people out of the district's 110,000 residents voted.

Classes only just resumed here.

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. TeacherSays

    Looks like Oinky (the pig) sets the curve again!

    January 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    English is a language used by more and more people daily and I wish you would quit using my name phony boy!

    January 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanity

      That's not necessarily going to be the case for long,since the Spanish language is gaining ground here in the United States and that can be a goog thing, Maybe Chinese will be the language of the future as some say that it's easier than even French or Spanish.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sanity

        Stop posting with my screen name you @$$ clown! Aren't you creative enough to make one up yourself?

        January 12, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        The German word for apple is derApfel and for pear is die Birne and for light bulb is die Gluhbirne. That they could and should teach the children of Afghanistan. Then again,Germany today unfortunately,has no competent leaders,only self-serving politicians who only crawl to Washington for advice. It would be nice if once again,Germany had a "German" chancellor.

        January 13, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    I just wish that they'd teach German instead of English. If they're going to teach these kids a foreign language,why not make it German since it's the most beautiful of them all!!!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      I disagree,Dan. I personally prefer the Russian language myself and then there are these right-wing idiots who cannot speak anything other than English and as the Americans bear such a superiority complex,I guess that they will be teaching English there.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Sanity

        And I disagree with both of you. They should be teaching them Spanish since that's the easiest one of all,although not the most beautiful. Besides,that's the most universal language there is today.

        January 11, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |