Vision of the Ministry of Education
Our vision for the Afghan education system is to develop human capital based on Islamic principles and respect for human rights by providing equitable access to quality education for all to enable them to actively
participate in sustainable development, economic growth, stability and security of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Education strives to accomplish this vision by implementing an inclusive plan that aims to enhance access, quality, relevance and management of educational delivery mechanisms in the years to come.
Our Key Challenges
Despite impressive achievements, many immense challenges lie ahead for the education sector. The high numbers of out-of-school children and youth, gender and rural/urban disparities, low quality of education and administrative
limitations are a few of many challenges that the Ministry of Education has yet to overcome to achieve Education for All and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2020. The details of which are as follows:
- Approximately 42% or five million of the estimated 12 million school-aged children and youth do not have access to education;
- Over 5000 schools are without usable buildings, boundary walls, safe drinking water or sanitation facilities;
- Long walking distances to school and lack of safe/proper learning environments are major impediment toward female participation in schooling;
- No female students enrolled in grades 10-12 in 200 of 412 urban and rural districts;
- 245 out of 412 urban and rural districts do not have a single qualified female teacher;
- 90% of qualified female teachers are located in the nine major urban centers (Kabul, Herat, Nangrahar, Mazar, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Jozjan and Faryab);
- 453 schools are still closed or have been damaged in the past two years, resulting in 300,000 students deprived of schooling; and, Some 11 million adults remain illiterate.
The Ministry of Education is strongly committed to accomplishing its national and international obligations by providing balanced and quality education to all school-aged children and youth. However, the quality of education is one of the main areas of concern for the government and its development partners. Quality improvement requires textbooks and learning materials, professional teachers, secure, inclusive and childfriendly learning environments, laboratories, libraries and effective management and supervision.
The Ministry has a daunting task of proactively responding to the below challenges:
- 73% of teachers lack the minimum required qualification of grade 14 graduation and are in need of professional development;
- Over 5,000 of Educational Institutions do not have usable buildings which has a direct impact on quality of education;
- There is a shortage of textbooks and other teaching and learning materials as well as problems in their timely distribution;
- Use of school buildings in multiple shifts—almost all schools operate based on a reduced instructional-schedule compared to international norms—a direct impact on the quality of education; and
- There is a shortage of technical workshops for technical and vocational schools and labs for general education schools.
Relevance is considered a critical subject in education with multidimensional impacts. However, our education is lagging behind many basic characteristics of relevance. Our education needs to ensure that it is researchbased; meets the reconstruction needs and demand of our labor market;
provides education skills that increases employability; and can reduce our dependency on international experts. For instance, at the moment Technical and Vocational Schools, despite high demand, can only accommodate less than 5% of grade 9 graduates. Similarly, there is a huge imbalance between the secondary and higher education sub-sectors, e.g., 79,000 students graduated from grade 12 in 2008; however, only one fourth were absorbed in higher education institutions. With current pace there will be around 900,000 twelfth grade graduates in 2020 who will need either higher education or employment opportunities.
Our education system needs to train the new generation of professional work force who can take the political, social and economic leadership of the country without much reliance on international assistance.
The Ministry of Education employs 67% of the civil servants in the country; however, only 15% of the national recurrent budget is allocated for education which makes it impossible to achieve the targets set in the National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) with the government resources.
Inability of the government to adequately fund the education sector results in a reliance on donor funding and low quality and access constraints.
Unpredictability of development funding, lack of long-term donor commitment and lack of harmonized approach of donors to funding are the other major challenges that this Ministry is struggling with.
Several management challenges impede the education system to effectively plan and execute sound polices and programs. For instance, as a result of low staff capacity the system lacks sufficient number of trained and wellorganized directors, managers and school principals who can develop and maintain an effective decentralized service delivery mechanism. Likewise, a complicated and lengthy procurement system and lack of trained staff are other major challenges that slow down timely implementation of development projects.
Timely decision-making is hampered by the lack of an adequate information and communication system.
Similarly, lack of adequate workspace for the ministry’s main building to effectively establish its vertical and lateral linkages has weakened coordination and delivery mechanisms at national level.
Low remunerations for teachers and administrative staff of the Ministry has reduced work motivation and creativity across the country.
Where We Were
Decades of war, civil unrest, internal conflicts and political instability in Afghanistan have destroyed the basic social service delivery mechanisms of the country. Education, being the most vulnerable social sector against insecurity,
violence and discontinuity, has been severely affected as a result.
In 2002, the newly established Government of Afghanistan inherited a disabled and defunct education system, which was as follows:
- Less than one million students, 20,000 teachers with almost no female articipation;
- 34, 00 schools–majority with unusable buildings;
- No standard national curriculum or textbooks;
- Only four Teacher Training Colleges with 400 students;
- Only 1500 boys enrolled in Technical and Vocational Schools, and
- 220 unregulated Madrassas without any formal curriculum.
Where We Are Now
The education sector has witnessed substantial progress since 2002. A seven-fold increase in the enrolment of students, the recruitment and training of large numbers of teachers and construction of several thousand schools have ensured
improved access and major progress in enhancing the quality and management of education.
- Nearly 7 million children are enrolled in schools , around 37% or 2.5 million of them girls;
- Over 4,500 school buildings constructed with active community involvement to provide better and safer learning environments;
- An over eight-fold increase in the number of teachers to 170,000 (30% female);
- Teacher Training Centers (TTCs) have increased from four to 42 – at least one per province with male and female boarding facilities; also 73 District Teacher Training Resource Centers (DTTRCs) to train new and exiting teachers are active; 42,000 students enrolled in TTCs and DTTRCs (38% female). This figure
is expected to reach 54,000 by the end of 1388;
- The number of TVET schools increased to 60 with 20,000 students (3,000 girls) - and is expected to reach 26,000 in 1388;
- Over 79,000 students graduated from grade 12 in 1387 (26% female) – 100,000 expected by the end of 1388;
- 250,000 adults (62% female) attended a nine-month literacy courses every year since 1381; expected to reach 500,000 this year.
- There are 42 Centers of Educational Excellence with about 485 registered Madrasas;
- Out of 673 closed-schools because of insurgency, 220 have been re-opened during the last nine months providing access to over 180,000 students and 3000 teachers;
- In order to promote ownership of the education system by communities, over 8,500 school Shuras have been established.
Our Way Forward (March 2010––March 2015)
Afghanistan's education indicators are some of the worst in the world. The Ministry of Education, with the support of its development partners, aims to address these challenges to ensure that Afghan children enjoy a bright future.
The education targets set in the updated National Education Strategic Plan are intended to directly contribute to the Afghanistan Millennium Development Goals and few are mentioned below:
- To increase the enrolment of girls and boys in general Education from currently 2.5 and 4.3 million to 4.2 and 5.8 million respectively by March 2015. This shows an increase of 64 % for girls and 36 % for boys.
- To increase the enrolment and training of TVET students from 20,000 now in 2009 to 150,000 in March 2015.
- To increase access of the existing teachers and graduates of grade 12 to pre-service, in-service and accelerated learning programs provided by TTCs and teacher resource centers from 42000 now in 2009 to 110,000 in March 2015.
- Train 60,000 existing teachers and enhance their education to grade 14 in the relevant subject by March 2015.
- Train 50,000 graduates of grade 12 (with 45% females) from regions in need of professional teachers, and educate them through pre-service programs as professional teachers in needed subjects by March 2015. By 2014, at least 80% of teachers will have passed the national competency test.
- Equitably increase the number of students in Islamic schools to 190,000 in March 2015 and for the Dar-ul-Ulums (grades 13-14) to 10,000. Likewise, increase enrolment of females in Islamic schools and Dar-ul-Ulums to 40% by March 2015.
Our Vision for 2020
In accordance with the Afghanistan Constitution, MDG and EFA goals, the Ministry of Education is committed to ensure that by 2020 all school-aged boys and girls will complete primary grades. In brief, the Ministry of Education aims to achieve the below targets:
- 14 million students including 6.5 million girls will be enrolled in 22,000 schools, taught by 486,000 teachers (50% female).
- The number of TTCs will remain 42 and the number of TTRCs will reach 364, enrolling about 1624, 78 students per year. As a result, 100% of the teachers of the country will have at least 14th grade education.
- 320,000 students will be taught by 48,000 professional teachers in 550 technical and vocational schools.
- There will be 470,000 students acquiring Islamic Education in about 1193 Islamic Education Centers across the country through 14,000 teachers (50 % female).
- One million new literates (60% female) will be produced through 40,000 literacy courses and 20,000 teachers every year. The total number of people to achieve literacy by 2020 will reach 8 million.
- 100% of schools will have useable buildings and conducive environments.
- A national Institute of Curriculum Development will be operational. A set of quality textbooks will be provided to students every three years.
- Education system will be more balanced and gender and regional disparity will be brought to an absolute minimum.
- Education content and delivery will be tuned to address national development priorities.
- All Teachers and staff of MoE will be reformed through pay & grade system by 2012 and living conditions of teachers will be further improved through distribution of land to those teachers who do not have their own housing.
- Integration of technical and vocational education into general and Islamic schools.