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From Canada to Afghanistan — Education is a right!

The money Canada has spent on the war in Afghanistan could abolish tuition fees for every student in the country for the next 6 years. On November 5, thousands of students and supporters will be marching to demand better access to education in Canada. The Canadian Peace Alliance supports the campaign to Drop Fees for a Poverty-Free Ontario and will be marching in the demonstrations on November 5.

The Government of Canada is responsible for transfer payments to the provinces that help fund post-secondary education, yet they spend much more on the military so that we can continue to occupy Afghanistan. In fact, the Conservatives are overseeing the largest increase in military spending in Canadian history with more than $490 billion earmarked for war over the next 20 years. Meanwhile, student debt in Canada is over $13 billion and rising.

The Conservative Government continues to limit access to the human right of education – not just in Canada but also in Afghanistan. The students of Afghanistan are living under a corrupt warlord led government which is denying their right to education. Canadian students are reeling under mountains of debt while Harper spends billions to prop up that corrupt government.

After more than 8 years of occupation in Afghanistan the education system remains in horrible condition. The World Bank estimates that 75 percent of the $36 billion in development funding sent to Afghanistan is pocketed by the government leaders that NATO is supporting.

The future is bleak for the students of Afghanistan. According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission:

* 60% of schools have no buildings
* only 11% of boys and 5% of girls enrolled in primary school continue on to grade 12
* 36% of children leave before grade 6 because they have to work
* 70% of Afghans live in poverty (less than 1.5 USD a day)
* 25% of kids leave school because they cannot afford textbooks
* 60% have no access to education facilities
* 84% have no access to science facilities
* less than 50% have access to desks and chairs
* 80% have no access to clean water in schools
* 60% have no sports fields
* 81% have no libraries

The last thing that the people of Afghanistan need is more troops to continue to extend the control of the warlords. In the words of Afghan educator and MP, Malalai Joya, “Today the soil of Afghanistan is full of land mines, bullets, and bombs – when what we really need is an invasion of hospitals, clinics, and schools for boys and girls.”

Support access to education in Canada and Afghanistan. End the War in Afghanistan.

- Malalai Joya will be speaking to audiences across Canada this November. Please see: www.acp-cpa.ca for more information.

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