Improving Mining Education: Training for Afghan University Lecturers in Germany

This week, five lecturers of Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) and Kabul University (KU) returned to Afghanistan. They participated in a two-week course on geochemistry at Technical University of Freiberg (TUBAF) in Germany. The activity is part of a trilateral cooperation agreement between Afghanistan, China and Germany. Cooperation aims at improving academic mining education in Afghanistan. The Afghan-German Cooperation financed and facilitated the training course.

Recently, KPU implemented new curricula for subjects covering geology and mining to ensure students’ access to high-quality and up-to-date mining education. Geochemistry belongs to the updated subjects. It covers the origin, evolution and distribution of chemical elements. A participant commented: “The training was very useful. It will help us lecturers to teach geochemistry to university students in accordance with the new curriculum. We are thankful for the Afghan-German Cooperation’s support and to our colleagues in Freiberg.”

The lecturers received theoretical training and improved their practical skills in modern laboratories. They had access to the latest instruments and techniques for geochemical analysis. In addition, participants visited a mining site in Germany to earn hands-on experience. ‘One of the lecturers emphasised: “The training in Freiberg was really good. We had the chance to translate our new technical knowledge into practice.”

Cooperation between Afghanistan, Germany and China in the field of mining education already began last year when 15 lecturers participated in a training in China.  Five more training activities shall take place in the months to come. Students at KPU and KU will benefit from improved academic mining education. This shall contribute to the full utilization of Afghanistan’s extractive sector’s potential.

The programme Academic Mining Education in Afghanistan (AMEA) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) since 2014. AMEA aims at improving academic mining education in Afghanistan to facilitate the full utilisation of the Afghan extractive sector’s potential. The programme has been helping to modernise university training, adapting it to industry and labour market needs and building an educational network in close cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), the Afghan Ministry of Mining and Petroleum (MoMP) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). So far, AMEA has organised academic courses, scholarships and internship programmes in Iran, Germany, and China for more than 200 Afghan students and lecturers providing them access to up-to-date technical knowledge and innovative teaching methods. The programme has also provided practically oriented advanced training and networking events on mining education for more than 600 university lecturers since 2014.