‘Education key to transform people’

Special Correspondent
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Sakena of Afghan Institute of Learning delivers lecture at Kosambi festival

Sakena Yacoobi, executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning.
Sakena Yacoobi, executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning.

Sakena Yacoobi, executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led non-governmental organisation (NGO), ruled out any possibility of Taliban taking over affairs of Afghanistan post withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2014.

Answering a question at a lecture on “Working with youth to bring change to society through education and teaching them core values” at the 6th D.D. Kosambi Festival of Ideas here on Tuesday, Ms. Yacoobi admitted the limitations of Afghanistan in terms of military, soldier strength, etc., but manifested immense faith in Afghan people to manage their affairs and to take care of themselves.

Earlier, Ms. Yacoobi enthralled the audience with her captivating “stories” on educating and empowering women and children in most trying circumstances in her country.

Stating that education was the key to transform people and countries to prosperity, she emphasised the need for pursuit of knowledge and education, gender equality, and the need for using technology for the benefit of the people. She said that she firmly believed that education and imbibing technology was the only way to transform the lives of her people.

“Today technology is developing fast world over. Only reading and writing is not enough. Today, the difference between developed world and under-developed world is the capacity to adopt technology, for better governance and better systems, for better life for people,” she said.

Replying to a question on ethic fights in her country, she said the root cause of that was lack of education, which led to lack of knowledge, perpetuated ignorance about religion and bred intolerance.

In reply to a question why she rejected offers to be in the government, she said that for her chair was not important to feel empowered and she was carrying on the cause of education and empowering of women and masses, which was in a way helping government in its responsibilities without taking position of power. Explaining her methods of educating women through her NGO, she said it developed special curriculum which taught leadership, gender equality, and democratic values, among others. She said that another way it educated people was by sending them abroad for more exposure, to see different lifestyles, systems, etc.

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