Education Sector in Afghanistan

Education Sector
in 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,
girl enrolment and cultural factor
•High diversity among populations
over aged children,
illiterate adults,
•Specificity of provinces visited
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
A centralised education service delivery
•A centralised Ministry with improved capacities, challenged by an important turn
•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 implementation (1)
•Ministry of Education highly dependent on donors funding
Key areas of support
Approximate commitments
2002: 6,5M$
2002-2003: 35M$
2004: 11,5M$
School construction; Textbooks printing
Accelerated learning; Radio Based teacher training
Capacity building MoE/MoHE
Back to school campaign (tent, learning material)
School rehabilitation and construction; Curriculum and textbook
development; Winter/summer teacher training
Curriculum development; Textbook printing
Teacher training; Capacity building
School construction
School construction (Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh,Bamiyan) and teacher 2002-2005: 15M$
training; Capacity building
Equipment for higher education institutions; Non formal education
World Bank Schools grants; University block grant
Training for teachers and principals; Support for policy
developmenet and Education Management Information System
Support for PEDs and DEDs
2004-2006: 15M$
2002-2004: 15M$
2004-2009: 40M$
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
Synchronization of aid agencies with national
•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?
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
•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)?