The background of education. According to the Central Statistics Office, Afghanistan has a population of almost 24 million people and one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. An estimated 9.5 million Afghans are illiterate .
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Children are also taught Arabic so that they may be able to read the Koran (Qur'an).
Two separate systems of education exist in Afghanistan. The older system is a religious one, taught by the mullahs, who conduct schools in the village mosques. They teach the religious precepts of the Koran, reading, writing, and arithmetic.