Basic Education for Police Officers

Afghanistan is facing challenges in establishing the rule of law. Very few police officers are adequately qualified for their work, and the idea of responding to citizens’ needs still holds very little importance for the Afghan National Police (ANP).


Due to the lack of trained, fully operational police officers with close links to local communities, the ANP often employs unqualified staff. These police officers often do not know how to ensure security in accordance with the constitution and the law. Most of Afghanistan’s law enforcement officers lack even a basic education. Over 80 per cent of the active police force is illiterate or has a very low level of literacy. As a result, officers are unable to perform the basic tasks of police work, such as checking passports, driving licences or forms.


The officers of the Afghan police force are better educated. They can perform their tasks more professionally and work more closely with the local people. The police force enjoys the trust of citizens and makes an important contribution to stability, security and peace in the country. Improvements that are felt quickly, if possible, are pursued.

Measures and Results

On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, the project is supporting the provision of basic education to police officers throughout Afghanistan. Literacy courses together with civic education are providing the police officers with a solid foundation for competent, independent and professional actions.

Literacy classes for tens of thousands of police officers

With its literacy classes for police officers, the project is putting in place the basic requirements for professional police work. The daily reading and writing lessons are held while the officers are on duty. German Cooperation with Afghanistan is supporting these courses with teachers and teaching materials and is providing tables, benches and blackboards.

Several tens of thousands of Afghans in the police force have already attended literacy courses organised by the programme. So far, more than 25,000 policemen and over 600 policewomen have received a certificate. The Afghan Ministry of Education recognises these certificates as the equivalent of a third-year school leaving certificate.

Over 27,000 policemen and approximately 850 policewomen are currently involved in the programme. In addition, more than 10,000 police officers are attending more advanced courses to gain a qualification equivalent to a sixth-year school leaving exam.

Rights and functions of the police

The programme uses the literacy courses to impart additional basic and civic education to the police officers. The subjects covered include human rights, health and gender equality. Participants learn about the role the police force plays in the state structure and the relationship it has to the people. This wide-ranging training is intended to enable police officers to perform their tasks with greater professionalism. At the same time it makes serving with the police force more attractive, as it gives police officers an opportunity for professional and social advancement.

Training of ‘literacy officers’

The programme also includes a basic and an advanced course for experts working at the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs to become ‘literacy officers’. It is their task, among other things, to teach and coordinate the literacy courses.

At a glance

Supporting the training and literacy of the Afghan police force (PCP)
Commissioned by:
German Federal Foreign Office
Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA)
Implementing organisations:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Programme objective:
For the Afghan police force to perform its tasks more professionally. It works more closely to the people, and contributes to greater stability and security in the country
Overall term:
October 2014 – October 2021