News: Ghazni PRT supports ANP traffic training program
Story by 1st Lt. Katherine Roling
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan– The 30 desks and chairs, 200 driver’s manuals, 200 notebooks and pens, computer system, TV screen, printer, copier, scanner and digital camera all go toward the ANP’s efforts to teach safe driving skills to the people of Ghazni province.
“This was the traffic police chief’s idea, we’re just supporting him,” said U.S. Army Maj. Jonathan Price, Ghazni PRT civil affairs team chief from East Windsor, N.J.
The Director of the Ghazni Traffic Police Department, Ghulam Muhammad Rasekh, created the proposal, and because his request was under $5,000, the PRT was able to treat it as a Bulk Commander’s Emergency Response Program , which renders faster results than a larger-scale project.
“Bulk CERP Projects are small-scale, small-cost projects, usually under $5,000, that offer immediate assistance to the local population,” Price said. “We like conducting Bulk CERP because they are quick, usually take less than 30 days and help connect the Afghan people with the government.”
The new desks and chairs will replace the older chairs that were not suitable for learning due to their disrepair, and the TV screen will replace the chalkboard for more efficient learning. The all-in-one printer, copier and scanner will allow the ANP to print course completion certificates and driver’s licenses, and the digital camera will let them take pictures for the identification cards.
The new computer system will be faster and easier to use, and the 200 driver’s manuals will be reused so students do not have to pay out of pocket for the manuals.
“The class is free, but people have to pay 500 Afghanis to the government for their license,” Rasekh said. “This class is province-wide, so people from different districts come here to learn.”
Afghans have to be 18 years old to get a driver’s license, and they have to pass a written exam, a driving test, and pass the medical portion of the class for sight and hearing. Because Afghanistan has an adult literacy rate of 28 percent, according to the United Nations Children’s Funds organization, students can take a verbal test in place of the written exam.
“If they fail, they have to retake the class,” Rasekh said. “It is mandatory in Afghanistan to have a license to drive.”
The goal is to graduate 200 people in 15 days, he said.
The class teaches international rules of the road, traffic signals, overcoming blind spots, how to approach multiple vehicles on a curved road and even what to do when approaching coalition forces in a convoy. With the new equipment, the ANP will train new drivers more efficiently.