Despite of thousand of challenges, women in Afghanistan have been enrolling across fields in universities. Kabul University, which is a government-funded college open to men and women, has more than 20,000 students from all over the country, all of whom had to pass a tough entrance exam.
And I was one of them.
I enrolled in Kabul University’s computer science program in 2008, and I faced many challenges there as a student. There was limited space, and I was studying in a congested classroom of eighty of my peers. (And only twenty of us were women!) Classes ranged in size, and it was difficult to concentrate in big lecture halls. The curriculum was old and the teaching materials were out-of-date. The program didn’t meet market demands, and our books weren’t up to standard.
But in spite of all of this, I experienced a very warm and welcoming environment at Kabul University. Those big halls were home to outstanding lectures. Despite the lack of a standardized platform, professors were always keen on finding an alternative way to paint us the big picture of computer science and technology. Also, students, including I, were dedicated to studying hard – irrespective of non-advanced facilities.
At the present, our Computer Science department shares close contacts with the University of Maryland, University of DC, University of Cape Town, Technical University of Berlin and the computer sciences department of all domestic universities in Afghanistan, which helps students experience advanced curricula. However, students still suffer from standardized classrooms, labs and other equipments, and lack of updated textbooks demotivates students as professors.
I hope Afghanistan, my home country, will be like other developed countries and have a modern and contemporary education system one day.