| ||Gov't allocates 10 mln USD for overseas Afghan students|
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KABUL - The Afghan government has allocated 10 million U.S. dollars in the current year as part of efforts to encourage students overseas and to increase the number of experts in the war-torn country, President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday.
"We allocated 5 million U.S. dollars last year for our students to study in foreign countries but the government has allocated 10 million U.S. dollars this year and the allowance would rise up to 15 million dollars in the coming years," President Karzai said in a three-day seminar here.
Describing low rate of literacy as the country's main challenge, the president called upon Afghan students to study hard and take part in the reconstruction process of their country.
More than 500 students went to India and Turkey in 2011 while up to 1,000 Afghan students are expected to go overseas for studying this year, according to officials.
This the second batch of Afghan students going abroad for higher education on government expenses while in the past couple of years Afghan students studied overseas on scholarships from host countries.
More than 150,000 students have been studying in 90 universities, including 59 private higher education institutions across the country, Minister of Higher Education Obidullah Obid said in the seminar -- A National Call for Educational, Higher Educational, Vocational System Reform and Employment in Afghanistan.
During its rule which collapsed in late 2001, the Taliban regime had banned school for girls and confined women to their houses.
Afghan Education Minister Farooq Wardak told the seminar that currently over 8 million students, with some 39 percent of them girls, go to school in the country while more than 3 million school-aged children cannot go to school because of security reasons, traditional restrictions and poverty.