Education in Afghanistan
The government of Afghanistan is committed to rehabilitating the education system and has been increasing its support to education over the past years. But these efforts remain limited in the face of the growing demands of the education sector.
The education sector in Afghanistan faces many challenges including:
- A high number of out-of-school children, with the majority being girls, children in remote and insecure areas, children with disabilities, children of nomadic populations and other vulnerable groups
- Low quality of education because of poorly trained teachers, a lack of textbooks, and poorly equipped schools
- Low capacity of the Ministry of Education (MoE).
The main objectives of Afghanistan’s education strategy are:
- Increasing enrollment in formal education with a focus on rural areas
- Providing a quality-driven and conducive learning environment in all general schools to promote effective academic and intellectual development
- Improving access, as well as retention and completion rates, for girls, Kuchis and children with special needs
- Developing and improving Islamic education to equip young people with increased capabilities for improved employment options
- Ensuring that all students and teachers have access to improved textbooks and curricular materials
- Developing the capacities of all teachers to improve the quality of teaching and the learning achievements of students
- Increasing national literacy
- Improving access, quality, and management of technical and vocational education and training
- Increasing the capacity, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability, and transparency of the Ministry of Education.
The NESP so far has not covered the full sector to include higher education. Higher education in Afghanistan sits with the Ministry of Higher Education.
In 2014, 13% of the national budget was allocated to education making it the third largest sector in volume of spending, after security and infrastructure. The seven-fold increase in demand for education since 2001 has placed significant strain on the system, leading to increased donor dependence.
The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), established in 2002, is the largest single source of on-budget financing for Afghanistan’s development including education. The ARTF is supported by 33 donors and administered by the World Bank
The major undertaking in 2015/2016 will be the development of Afghanistan’s new national education strategic plan, as a foundation for critical education reforms and the improved coordination of domestic and external resources.