KABUL, Afghanistan – A new report says nearly half of Afghanistan's children are not attending school because of war, poverty, child marriage and other factors.
The study, released by the Education Ministry and the U.N. children's agency on Sunday, says 3.7 million, or 44 percent, of all school-age children are not attending school. It marks the first time since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 that the rate of attendance has declined, following years of steady gains in education for boys as well as girls, who were banned from attending school under the Taliban.
The survey says girls account for 60 percent of those being denied an education.
The Taliban have seized several districts across the country in recent years, as the U.S.-backed government has struggled to combat the insurgency.