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.


Under the Taliban, the Afghan people were forbidden to participate in public sporting and cultural activities. Today, however, sports are once again one of the most popular leisure pursuits in Afghanistan. Sport contributes to physical and mental health and wellbeing, builds motor skills and brings people together. However, physical education in schools, if available at all, focuses mainly on theoretical knowledge and rarely includes any practical lessons. Schools lack practical teaching strategies, curricula, qualified physical education (PE) teachers, equipment and facilities. And yet schools can provide a safe space for physical activity, especially for girls and young women who have no other opportunity to participate in sport.


The project aims to give girls access to quality physical education. A physical education curriculum at teacher training colleges will support the delivery of sports in schools.

Measures & Results

The project has already facilitated the expansion of sport in schools: 10 master trainers from the Afghan Physical Education Directorate (PED) at the Ministry of Education attended two training workshops where they learned how to utilise sport as a personal development tool and to tailor sports provision to local circumstances and school resources. Ball games (e.g. basketball and volleyball) are a particular focus of interest.

The trainers share their newly acquired knowledge with their colleagues. To date, 78 teachers from 38 schools in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif have attended eight in-service training events. The German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) provides research support for the project. The roll-out of the in-service training to other provinces is currently planned. PE equipment suitable for use in a variety of sports and ball games has been provided for 20 pilot schools in Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul and teachers have received in-service training in physical education. Around 57,000 students are now benefiting from the enhanced PE offer.

Thanks to the support from the Afghan-German Cooperation, several teacher training centres have been established in Afghanistan’s northern provinces and are attracting young Afghans wishing to enter the profession. In order to reintegrate PE into teacher training for primary schools, a curriculum for this age group was developed in May 2016. It draws on sports and physical activities from all over the world and is tailored to the conditions, resources and amenities typically available at Afghan schools. On this basis, and as the next step, appropriate teaching materials will be developed for physical education lessons.

At a glance

Activities in the provinces Balkh, Kabul
Sport for Development in Afghanistan (S4D)
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Physical Education Directorate (PED) at the Afghan Ministry of Education, education departments of the Afghan provincial governments, GIZ’s Basic education programme for Afghanistan (BEPA) , German Sport University Cologne (DSHS)
Implementing organisations:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Balkh, Kabul
Programme objective:
To expand sports in schools and develop teacher training curricula for physical education.
Overall term:
March 2016 – December 2018