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.


Classes in tents and poorly trained teachers – this is still the reality in many areas across Northern Afghanistan. In Balkh Province, for example, around two thirds of the 550 schools were destroyed or badly damaged by war and conflict, while in Kunduz Province, less than half the 440 schools had no building of their own. As well as needing equipment, textbooks and other essential educational resources, the schools face a severe shortage of trained teachers. About nine million children (more than a third of them girls) are currently being taught by around 200,000 teachers: an average of 45 students for every teacher. What’s more, most teachers are under-qualified. 


The project aims to improve the quality of basic and secondary education. In order to bring learning content up to the required standard for access to further education and the labour market, but also to motivate and sustain students’ interest in learning, the German Government is assisting Afghanistan with teacher training and curriculum development.

Measures & Results

Teacher training has noticeably improved the quality of education. There is now more student participation in class and greater motivation to learn. In addition to building classroom skills, including an awareness of learner-centred teaching methods, the training programme focuses particularly on mathematics and science. Teachers and lecturers attend in-service training at Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).

Based on the teachers’ new and enhanced knowledge, curricula have been revised and a modern national teaching plan introduced. BEPA provided support to the Teacher Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education in this context. As a result, students now have access to specialised, age-appropriate schooling.

Since 2009, training has been provided for more than 22,000 people working in the Afghan education sector, mostly teachers and lecturers.

In addition, students are now empowered to make an informed decision about their future career pathway, as vocational learning now features on the curriculum for senior school students. Key aspects of gender equality, human rights and peace education now also form part of basic and further training for teachers. 

At a glance

Activities in the provinces: Badakhshan,
Basic education programme for Afghanistan (BEPA)
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education
Implementing organisations:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Badakhshan, Balkh, Kabul, Kunduz, Samangan, Takhar
Programme objective:
To create the conditions for teaching quality improvements in basic and secondary education.
Overall term:
June 2005 – October 2019