How can we solve this problem
Today I was announced best speaker in our debate training arranged by IEFS. I was opposition leader on the issue of, is government obligated to lessen the gap between rich and poor? As the training ended I didn’t leave the center with cherishing memory of my success but with a question on my mind.
In the end of the class everybody was talking about learning pay which is about to. I discovered that each of the students is paid 500AFs ($10) for each class they attend. I was happy with this I will be able to return half of the money that I borrowed from my friend. But I also didn’t approve the idea of paying in training like this. Because you cannot find learner’s with a real desire to learn. In this kind of trainings you have two options to 1st Get education 2nd Earn money?
I first faced this situation when an expat wanted to train some doctors in public health hospital. I was helping him arrange this training. We could not get the doctors to attend this unless we pay so finally the expat doctor agreed to pay. This training in Nangarhar, we paid 500 AFN($10) per day to participants who work in Jalalabad (who still collected their regular salary) and 1500 AFN per day to participants from outside Jalalabad (those coming from outside the province got five days of pay for a three day training, because they were paid for two travel days). This money is called a “per diem” and it is common internationally when something for your job requires you to be out of town, but uncommon while you’re in your own town. Our partners helping to organize the training felt that our per diems were very low. One of the primary doctors coordinating the training left before the final day because he had an opportunity to go to another training in Kabul with a higher per diem (I believe it may have been $90 a day). This is a very normal part of the routine of doctors who work with the ministry of public health.
When I landed in Kabul international report after returning from World innovation summit. I run into an acquainted professor in the airport who was going to Japan for training in education. The second question he asked after where am I coming from, was how much am I paid. I had no answer but I simply said I spend $8 by mistakenly drinking a red-bull in the hotel room. This was another situation that poked same question in my mind is he going to Japan to learn or to earn? I noticed he didn’t believe that I am not paid, and this question is what most people have asked since I am back in the country.
I think this is not NGOs or peoples mistake. We have been in war for over 30 years; we needed relief in refugee camps and war torn villages. This is what most Afghans have learnt because since they are born they always needed help in their life. Majority of the current Afghan population has lived in war. On the flip side helping for too long also develops a tendency in once personality to expect from others. This situation can also effect the population which can’t help the country to revive and be self-reliant. Education is still a major challenge in Afghanistan and very much needed. I have noticed both problems lack of education and problem of expecting from organizations. Educational programs cannot enroll students if they are not paid.
Should money be given to people for learning, if yes how can we avoid developing a tendency in them to desire for money in learning ?
This is question for organizations and policy makers that they should think of. The world is still going through war and crisis.