NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative lauds Afghan Education Ministry’s initiative in Helmand

  • 21 Feb. 2010 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Feb. 2010 15:18

The NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Ambassador Mark Sedwill, met Afghan Minister of Education Farooq Wardak on 21 February. He applauded Afghan-led educational projects in support of Operation Moshtarak in Central Helmand.

A first grade student repeats the alphabet during Pashtu study at the Khan Neshin School near The Castle in the Rig District, Nov. 2, 2009. Students travel from as far as 10 miles on foot to attend classes safe from insurgent threat.

Minister Wardak and the Ministry of Education will play a key role in the upcoming civilian phase of Operation Moshtarak. The Ministry is prepared to initiate adult literacy programmes, repair damages and re-open closed schools in Nad Ali District once Afghan and NATO troops have successfully cleared the area of insurgents.

The Ministry also plans to open a multi-sector vocational institute specialising in agriculture and establish a branch of the teacher training institute in Marjah upon conclusion of the military phase of the operation. Ambassador Sedwill expressed his full support for these plans and commended the Afghan leadership that has been demonstrated.

It is clear to me that the Afghan Government is committed to implement its civil assistance programmes for the people of Central Helmand,” said Ambassador Sedwill. “Minister Wardak’s efforts will help bring long term development to this region by providing people with new educational opportunities.

As the lead for the cluster of ministries focused on human resources development, Minister Wardak is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the Government’s efforts in preparing the nation’s talent for taking on the reconstruction and development of the country.

In representing the political leadership of the Alliance in Afghanistan, Ambassador Sedwill is responsible for ensuring that NATO's civilian efforts are coordinated with military operations and that they promote an Afghan-led approach. This was his first visit to the Ministry of Education in his new capacity.