Education in Afghanistan has made remarkable progress since 2001. In 2001 only one million children (almost all boys) were enrolled in schools. This year 9.7 million children are enrolled in schools, of whom 40% are girls. The number of schools has increased from 3,400 in 2001 to over 16,590, and the number of teachers has increased from 20,700 (almost all male) to over 207,000 (34% female).
There are three key constraints that hinder the accelerated delivery of educational services:
1) insufficient access constrained by delivery capacity;
2) low educational quality and achievement; and
3) insufficient community support and effective educational governance.
Strategies discussed at the Learning for All Ministerial meeting were directed at achieving three outcomes:
Outcome 1: Around 0.7 million additional out of school children securely enrolled in school by 2015 as result of providing more physical facilities to underserved populations including new schools, additional classrooms and additional CBE and ALP, and increasing the proportion of female teachers in girls schools to ensure that all have at least 6 female teachers by 2015. All interventions should be gender fair and socially acceptable to beneficiary communities.
Outcome 2: Early grade reading and mathematics skills of students improve as result of improving existing in-service teacher education programs, upgrading under qualified teachers, expanding initial teacher education, printing and distributing sufficient additional textbooks and reading materials, enhanced availability of school books in the open market, and development of interventions to develop systematic assessments of learning, especially in the early grades.
Outcome 3: Improved community participation and education governance at sub-national level as indicated by participation of parents in school governance structures, community school development collaborations, school development plans, adequate school documentation on enrolments, learning achievement, attendance etc, public accountability for deployment of funds etc. Greater capacity of head teachers to manage schools effectively as indicated by school performance in key indicators e.g. attendance, achievement, drop out, repetition, teacher attendance and turnover, time on tasks etc.
Photo Credit: DFID