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Pledges to Afghans ignored.

Afghanistan's minister of higher education has voiced irritation with Iran for failing to carry out any of the agreements signed to help improve higher education for Afghans.

Farideh Momand complained of a "lack of commitment by Iranian higher education officials." Speaking in a meeting with officials of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Momand said not even a single agreement was being implemented, the Mehr news agency reported.

The Middle East has a long tradition of signing memoranda of understanding with other countries but simply leaving the MOUs to lie fallow.

Momand told the meeting that three Iranian higher education institutes--Islamic Azad University, Payam-e-Nour University, and Jami'at al-Mustafa, a seminary in Tehran and Qom--had pledged to establish branches in Afghanistan.

"Unfortunately, no single agreement signed with the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology [which oversees higher education in Iran] has been implemented. These include agreements where the Iranian side has agreed to grant Afghan students scholarships in Iranian universities to improve their academic background," she said.

"Research is a major field in which we want to cooperate with Iranian academic centers to boost the general conditions of scientific research in Afghanistan, where the universities suffer very low quality in teaching staff and facilities. For example, we have removed those teaching staff with only a BA," she said.

"Long years of war and ethnic conflict in Afghanistan have virtually destroyed the social fabric and political and economic infrastructures. Higher education has not been unscathed as well," she said.

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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Jan 8, 2016
Words:246
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