Home' Army News : March 14th 2013 Contents Time to think about your New Year's
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Army March 14, 2013
IN A place where eight out of 10
children are not afforded the oppor-
tunity to attend school, the need for
education in the Uruzgan province of
Afghanistan is critical.
While there has been steady
improvement over the past dec-
ade through coalition assistance, the
Australian-led Provincial Reconstruction
Team -- Uruzgan (PRT-U) has also had a
significant and lasting impact in helping
educate the next generation of Afghans.
Since 2006, the number of schools
in the province has increased from 34 to
205. A further 20 schools will be built or
refurbished by the end of 2013.
Due to be completed in April,
PRT-U advisers have joined local offi-
cials to support the construction of the
Salambaba Boys School in the lower
The team hopes the outcome of that
school will be a success like the Malalai
Girls School, which PRT-U built in 2011.
It now has more than 500 students, 16
teachers and boasts 11 classrooms, a
playground and a library.
Headmaster Ghulam Rabani said the
PRT-U had been crucial in promoting
education in Uruzgan, especially in its
capital Tarin Kot.
"PRT-U always provides equipment
and supplies," Mr Rabani said. "This
school was built by them and we are very
happy for all the support and help they
"Education is what our people want,
if they don't get it, this country will never
The Director for Education,
Sediqullah Haand, said Malalai Girls
School was eroding the knowledge bar-
rier that previously existed for the female
population of Uruzgan.
"Education is very important for the
people here," Mr Haand said.
"I'm sure if God wills, we will have
good students who graduate from this
school and they will make a good future
"All the people of Uruzgan who send
their daughters to this school have no fear
in their hearts."
PRT-U advisers engage directly with
Afghan Government officials and com-
munity members to facilitate the con-
struction of roads, schools, hospitals and
improving district and provincial govern-
The team received mobility support
and protection from 7RAR Task Group
soldiers, who escorted them on a mis-
sion to Malalai and the Salambaba Boys
School on February 12.
Pte Cameron Walsh, of the 7RAR
Task Group Other Government Agency
(OGA) Platoon 2, said the platoon pro-
vided essential assistance to the PRT-U.
"Our role is to conduct mobility sup-
port and protection to the PRT-U and
enable them to do their job safely," Pte
Walsh said. "To see what we've helped
the PRT-U accomplish is pretty amazing."
Mr Feakes said the PRT-U mission
would not be possible without the com-
mitment and dedication of the 7RAR
"They put their lives on the line for
us, we could not do our job without them,
simple as that," Mr Feakes said.
"Were they not here, we couldn't be
here either, so I have nothing but the
highest praise for them and the highest
respect for their professionalism."
Tireless efforts from the PRT-U
and the OGA have seen the people of
Uruzgan enjoying access to basic servic-
es and infrastructure, supporting a func-
tioning government and living in much
As the redeployment of internation-
al forces grows closer, the PRT-U will
take a back seat in its pursuit of a better
Mr Feakes said there would be other
projects that would need to be finalised
"When we leave, AusAID will con-
tinue to support the Children of Uruzgan
Project which is responsible for build-
ing schools, training teachers, nurses and
midwives," Mr Feakes said.
"AusAID will also continue to support
the construction of secondary and tertiary
"Before we leave we need to ensure
these projects are bedded down and
can continue to run without the PRT-U
Building education: Provincial Reconstruction Team advisers join local officials in a tour of the Salambaba Boys School in the lower Mirabad, due to be fully constructed in April.
Inset, the team built the Malalai Girls School, in Tarin Kot. Pte Joseph McCandless provides security at the girls school.
Photos by Capt Jesse Platz
Uruzgan education boost
Soldiers are supporting more Afghan children to
gain better educations, Capt Jesse Platz reports.
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