Skip to main content /POLITICS

Bush highlights U.S. role in Afghan education

Bush highlights U.S. role in Afghan education

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush highlighted efforts to improve education in Afghanistan Saturday as he touted the United States' humanitarian mission in the war-torn region.

Bush noted in his weekly radio address that many girls will enter a classroom for the first time when a new school year begins in Afghanistan in a week.

"Under the Taliban regime, educating women was a criminal act," he said. "Under the new government of a liberated Afghanistan, educating all children is a national priority."

Bush said the United States has provided millions of textbooks in the Afghan languages of Pashto and Dari, and has plans to distribute millions more by the end of the year.

"These textbooks will teach tolerance and respect for human dignity, instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry," he said.

Blackboards and other school supplies also have been shipped to Afghanistan, many of them through America's Fund for Afghan Children, which has raised more than $4.5 million for the effort, Bush said.

He said the emphasis on education is an important one, because "education is the pathway to progress, particularly for women."

"Nations whose women are educated are more competitive, more prosperous and more advanced than nations where the education of women is forbidden or ignored," he said.




Back to the top