Over 400 public administration students serving as government interns this autumn
Vacancies for the internships were listed after the German government’s programme for strengthening public administration helped issue a call for placements for bachelor students earlier this year. The interns are all public administration students at one of the three Afghan universities across the country now in the final year of the Public Administration Bachelor’s degree: Herat, Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif. The universities of Jalalabad and Kandahar also offer the degree, and their students will be eligible for the internship programme in their finally year in 2016.
A new fixture in the final year syllabus of Afghanistan’s public administration degree course, the internships now give students the chance to apply their theoretical knowledge and improve their practical skills. Some interns also receive concrete job offers for after they complete their diplomas.
As one student intern in a government line department said, “Some of my friends couldn’t find a job after graduating because they didn’t have the right work experience. They were told theoretical knowledge isn’t enough; that they weren’t suitable for real jobs. I think with the internship I’m doing, I’ll have good chances on the job market after finishing my degree.”
Another student from Herat University added, “My task is to create a new database as part of my internship. I learnt how to do that at university, in theory. As I’ve never done this in real life, I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also looking forward to the task. I hope I can convince them and maybe get a job offer after the internship.”
Public administration as a subject is a new field in Afghanistan and internships are new to the academic programme. The internship is now a core module in the curriculum, accounting for six academic credits for students in the final year of study of their Bachelor’s degree in public administration. Besides assisting with the call for internship placements, Germany’s programme for strengthening public administration has helped five Afghan universities launch Bachelor of Public Administration courses and set up Faculties of Administrative Studies.