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Literacy and Education


The position of Education in Afganistan


In September 2016 the Afghan Ministry of Education stated that 62% of the Afghan population are illiterate!


However, many schools, particularly in rural areas, are in a dilapidated state: maintenance, repairs and painting are seldom accepted by the Ministry of Education as their responsibility, despite vast sums of money funded by the EU and other such international organisations for education.


Few schools have surrounding walls. That has a particularly strong impact on the enrolment of girls, as parents often want them to study in a more hygienic, protective, and sheltered area.


In many conservative parts of the country parents will not send their girls to school unless there are women teachers. This problem enrolling of girls is further compounded by the lack of such female teachers, most particularly in rural areas.


According to one international aid agency, “only about one quarter of the teachers in Afghanistan are women”, of particular importance in the teaching of very young children, and most are in urban and city areas. Cultural attitudes towards women still make this problem rather difficult to solve.


Investment in Vocational training is essential. Training in a trade produces a skill for life. It is hands as well as brains that will help to re-build Afghanistan. SAFE highlighted this in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 (Masons, Carpenters, Welders, Plumbers, Electricians), and Afghans in HABITAT totally agreed. Coupled with that, there is an acute shortage of trained agricultural mechanics.




*There is a significant lack of vocational skills training across Afghanistan. Where it does exist, tends to be concentrated in a few areas and focus on basic, rather than advanced skills. *(BAAG- Tokyo Briefing Paper: Aid Effectiveness/Economic Development-June 2012 !)