Afghan men expect uneducated mothers to raise educated children, but how it can be possible? This is an important question to pause over.

The first lessons of life are found in the mother’s embrace. The first thing that mothers teach their children is the “language” that enables them to get in touch with the world of humanity. A mother provides a base, conventional education. But after that, a mother’s educational background plays an integral role in her children’s future success. Sadly, this important role of mothers is often overlooked as many families prevent girls from being educated.

Some people insist that education is unnecessary for girls because they will simply marry and go to another home to do the chores and take care of the children and their husbands.

But the fact is that when a mother understands the importance of education, she will try her best to pave the ground for her children to study and obtain knowledge. Educated mothers give their children a ninety percent chance of a bright future. Uneducated mothers expect less from their children; therefore, the children expect less of themselves.

Most teachers, especially elementary school teachers, will confirm this. They will tell you that their students of educated mothers are brighter and get better grades than those with uneducated mothers.

Fahima teaches at a school called Mahjoba Heravy High School in Herat. She has fifteen years’ experience  teaching. She says her experience has shown that educated mothers, in addition to helping their children with their lessons, motivate their children to get high grades. They portray a nice future for their children in their children’s minds and this motivates the children to study and try harder.

Talk to Fatima, who is 30 and was educated herself to the twelfth-grade level. She now has three children and she says if she was not educated, she wouldn’t be able to manage her life and train her children. Fatima says that as her children grow older she believes even more strongly that they need more education. She has a 13-year-old daughter and she says girls this age need educated mothers to help them avoid bad behavior.

If we want to compare Fatima’s children with those children whose mothers are uneducated, we can see a big difference. Take MaryAm, for example. She lived in my neighborhood. She has no education and she has four children, but she never helps her eight-year-old son and eleven-year-old daughter with school work. In fact, she beats them when they study at home, especially her daughter because she wants her to do chores at home, not study.

She pays no attention when her children have examinations at school and lets them go off to other houses or parties. She doesn’t know what it means to take a class and that a student must be present in class. She always curses her children. She is an unsuccessful mother in terms of training her children. 

Education is a principle foundation of a stable society. It provides for a good future. I want the families, and especially the men, to let their girls go to school and study so they can become responsible mothers and raise good children.

By Zahra M.

Photo: The Asia Foundation