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Education Sector in Afghanistan. By Agnès de Geoffroy and Amélie Banzet LRRD project.

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education sector in afghanistan

Education Sectorin Afghanistan

By Agnès de Geoffroy and Amélie Banzet

LRRD project

important features

Highest enrolment rate in Afghanistan history, with more than half of the 7 to 13 aged children enrolled (35% to 40% are girls). More than 6 millions children are in school (2 millions in 2002). Increasing influx

  • Weak urbanization rate
  • High diversity among regions depending on different factors
  • level of infrastructure destruction,
  • geographical constraints,
  • security=>access
  • girl enrolment and cultural factor
  • High diversity among populations
  • over aged children,
  • illiterate adults,
  • returnees,
  • minorities,
  • Nomadic
  • Specificity of provinces visited

Important features

major reforms since 2001

Major reforms since 2001

  • New constitution of 2004: Basic education free and compulsory
  • New Curriculum and elaboration of the new textbooks under process
  • First steps of the PRR

Primary education (grade 1 – 6)

Basic education free and compulsory

Intermediate secondary (grade 7 – 9)

Vocational training

High school (grade 10 – 12)

Religious schools

National concours


Vocational training

Teacher Training College

a centralised education service delivery

A centralised education service delivery

  • A centralised Ministry with improved capacities, challenged by an important turn over
  • National policies and strategies.
  • During the emergency phase focused on a « Back to school » strategy,
  • The priority is now given to a better access to quality education and to gaps in the new education system (vocational training, religious schools)
  • The Provincial Education Department is bound to play a key role but has to be strengthened (unequal capacities, lack of means and of competences)
donors as key actors of strategy development 2

Donors as key actors of strategy development (2)

  • National strategies in evolution, USAID APEP (“create conditions for stability” = meet urgent needs) ->ABEP (“access to education of quality”= improve quality and access to education ), with a big impact on afghan NGOs development, and WB from the Emergency Education Rehabilitation and Development Project to Education QUality Improvement Programme with high focus on community, district and provincial level authorities involvement.
  • Concept and development schemes exogenous. Decentralisation, objectives too ambitious
  • Difficult attempts of coordination at national level with MoE (USAID funds channelled through outside budget) , except for the Teacher Education Programme
synchronization of aid agencies with national policies

Synchronization of aid agencies with national policies

  • UN agencies supporting the government in policy design and implementation
  • INGO projects increasingly in accordance with national policies (MoU)
  • Massive hand over of NGO supported schools, priority shifted to quality in basic education, Community Based Schools, accelerated learning and literacy
  • We met two main types of NGOs: some as implementing and facilitating partners, other designing their own projects (windows of opportunities, broader margin of manoeuvre)
  • Coordination at provincial level exists, but an interesting collaboration could be set with better competences and means at provincial level
which involvement from the community

Which involvement from the community?

  • Increased involvement of communities in education projects:
  • Community and families involvement are crucial to avoid or minimize security problems and drop out (Parents and teachers Associations, School Management Committees) and to increase awareness
  • Participation in kind or in cash is sometimes required. For the Community Based Schools, participation of the community is requested to provide a place, a teacher, and sometimes a contribution for teacher salary.
  • What is the accuracy of requesting financial contribution if it doesn’t ensure the sustainability of the project?
  • In some cases, at the school level, community is implementing the project (need assessment, contracting and monitoring) with NGO as facilitating partners (pilot project of Badakhshan where local authorities are playing the role of the NGO).
  • Is the community the right stakeholder to define its own real needs?
other issues for debate

Other issues for debate

  • What is quality in education?
  • Future capacity of the State to handle the education system:
  • To face the high influx of students?
  • To integrate newly created schools?
  • To rationalize teaching staff (quantity, quality, certification, too low salaries)
  • What outcomes and what benefits after basic education (vocational training, access to higher education)?