Education

Progress through education

Lack of education continues to obstruct Afghanistan’s development. Even today, 70% of women and 50% of men in Afghanistan are illiterate. Three decades of armed conflict and the Taliban regime have taken their toll: under the Taliban government, only around half a million children attended school and girls were banned from education, forcing them to learn in secret.

Around nine million children are now in school. Net primary school enrolment stands at 74% for girls and 98% for boys, and 31.7% of teachers are women. Afghanistan has made substantial progress but still faces a number of challenges: out of around 180,000 serving teachers (male and female), 58% have no university degree, and in 80 out of more than 300 districts, there are no female teachers at all.

Economic development and education are inextricably linked. Better education is vital to enable the next generation to take the country’s destiny into its own hands and change it for the better.

Since 2001, the international community has been assisting Afghanistan to develop its education system. From 2002 to 2014, Germany alone invested around EUR 130 million in this sector. Building and equipping almost 600 new schools, training more than 99,300 teachers and developing new curricula with a practical focus – all these are goals which Germany and Afghanistan are pursuing together.

In the vocational training sector, Germany is cooperating with 50 schools. Here, the focus is in-service training for lecturers, with a shift away from an overly theoretical approach towards practical training based on labour market needs.

Afghanistan’s educational establishments are increasingly working with companies which offer work placements for trainees, enabling them to gain insights into the workplace. The companies are also opening their doors to apprentices from the informal sector. This means that the employees of tomorrow will be better equipped for working life and better able to contribute to their country’s economic development.

For more information about our work in the priority area of education, please see the project descriptions and the ‘Stories’ section.

Our work in this sector

Mining in Afghanistan – Improving University Education, Supporting Innovation In order to make better use of the potential offered by the raw materials sector, the German Government is assisting Afghanistan to improve its system of academic mining education, to align it to industry and labour market needs and to build its international networks. more
Reforming the Education Sector – New Teaching Standards and Curricula In order to improve basic education, the German Government is working with the Government of Switzerland to support Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education with teacher training and to make learning content more diverse and accessible. more
Supporting Vocational Training, Combating Youth Unemployment In order to build a better TVET system that is accepted by government and society, the German Government is working with local partners to support the development of training programmes for trainers and to establish or improve the relevant structures. more
Better Education for a Better Future As part of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) , the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) seeks to increase equitable access to education across the country and supports school construction. In addition to Germany, the US, Canada and Sweden are major donors to this education programme. more
Sport for Development in Afghanistan Sport at school? That is still unfamiliar to many students in Afghanistan. But sport makes a positive contribution to young people’s physical and intellectual development and builds motor skills. Therefore, the German Government is supporting the introduction of physical education as a subject in Afghanistan’s schools. more
School Sponsorship in Afghanistan – Improving the Quality of Education In order to achieve continuous improvements in the quality of education for young Afghans, the German Government is sponsoring three schools in Kabul – the Amani High School for Boys, the Aysha-e-Durani High School for Girls and the Lycée Jamhuriat (a secondary business school for girls) – to become schools of excellence. These model schools will serve as an example for others. more