One of the few boasts the UK/US governments are able to make about the slowly developing quagmire in Afghanistan is the number of kids that are now able to attend school.
Here, a Home Office spokesman came out with the usual government line.
....with 5.4 million children in school compared to an estimated one million children in 2001.
This was a repeat of an answer given by Douglas "Milky Bar Kid" Alexander, on behalf of DfID in the Commons on the 28th February this year.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of (a) schools, (b) teachers and (c) pupils in Afghanistan, in the last two years, broken down by state. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Data are not currently available in the time frame requested. However, we estimate that there are currently around 5.4 million children now in school in Afghanistan, over a third of them girls. This is up from an estimated one million children in 2001, of whom very few were girls, who were officially denied access to education under the Taliban. 27 per cent. of girls and 44 per cent. of boys in rural areas now attend school, and 51 per cent. of girls and 55 per cent. of boys in urban areas now attend school. ( my emphasis).
So where exactly does this 5.4 Million figure come from? I suspect it comes from the Afghan Ministry of Education. After all, they should know the figures, shouldn't they?
This is what their website actually states.
More than 5.4 million children are enrolled in schools today, nearly 35% of them girls, compared to a little more than a million 5 years ago and almost no girls.
Still, half of our school-age children are estimated to be out of schools with significant gender and provincial disparities.
The word " enrolled" seems to have morphed into the phrase " in school". There may be 5.4 million kids trooping through the school gates in Afghanistan. I doubt it , but certainly that cannot be deduced from the word "enrolled".
The difficulties parents are exposed to are shown here in the Telegraph last year.
"We always wanted our daughter to acquire education, but we are scared," said Baaz Khan, a businessman, who took his 11-year-old daughter from the school.
"It is really awful not to educate our daughters, who have the challenges of the modern world ahead of them, but for me and my friends, the very thought of having to carry the dead bodies of our young daughters out of the wreckage of a bombed school is equally unnerving."
Not only the girls, but this piece describes just how difficult it is for parents to send all their children to school.
In the past 13 months, 226 schools, many run from tents, have been burnt down by the insurgents. A total of 110 teachers and students have been killed in incidents of indirect violence and another 52 wounded, officials say. The Taleban also shut down 381 schools, the majority of them in provinces like Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan where they have a formidable presence.
Indeed, the Afghan Education Minister, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, tells the BBC that
I am very worried that such incidents will make parents very scared to send their children to school.
So come on DfID lets have the real figures please!