I am sure many people like me seek assurances that the Afghan campaign has some value. that we are making progress and lives have been lost but with at least some tangible lasting purpose.
I asked Dr Liam Fox, Defence Minister recently a question on education and schooling in Commons and was fortunate enough to put the same question to the Prime Minister a day or so later.
Question to Dr Liam Fox
Question to the Prime Minister
Last week I received a positive reply and one which I think needs to be shared more widely.
During Oral Questions in the House on 4 July l undertook to provide you with an answer to you question about the percentage of children who are attending schools in Helmand province as an indication of how successful we have been in the operation there.
The latest figures from the Department for International Development show that:
- there are 133 schools open in Helmand, up from 47 in 2007.
- pupil numbers declined between 2006 and 2007 due to insurgent intimidation but are now on the rise.
- school enrolment in Helmand has risen from 51,484 in 2007 to 93,173 today. 21,431 of these are girls, in comparison to 14,264 in 2007 and none in 2001.
- 400 students including 195 women, are enrolled at the Teacher Training College.
Information on the percentage of children attending school is not available but I hope you will agree that the figures above give a good indication ofthe rising numbers and demonstrate the success of the operation.
I will place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.