New Afghan schoolbooks shun history of wars

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The Afghan government has published new textbooks for schoolchildren that shun the country’s modern history of conflict in an effort to promote national unity, an official said Tuesday.
“In the past four decades we have had some topics that were controversial,” education ministry spokesman Amanullah Iman told AFP – referring to Soviet occupation, civil war, the rise of the Taliban and a US-led invasion. “We have decided not to include them in the new curriculum,” he said. The books, published with the help of international donors who are believed to be mostly American, aim to avoid inflaming old enmities, he said. They are expected to be distributed in time for the beginning of the school year in spring.
“In the new textbooks we have avoided naming individuals and parties who were involved in conflicts in the past four decades – we have omitted topics that would create divisions among people,” said the spokesman. “We cannot let education be a battleground between people and parties. And the solution is to omit the names of these people and parties from textbooks in order to protect national unity.”