Supporting the Afghan Police Service – Training and Literacy
Afghanistan faces challenges in establishing the rule of law: There is a lack of sufficiently trained public officials capable of consistently implementing the constitution and state laws in everyday life throughout the country while taking into account the interests of the citizens. Due to the lack of trained, fully operational police officers with close links to local communities, the Afghan police force (ANP) often employs unqualified staff who possess little or even no general education. Up to 70 per cent of the active police force is illiterate or has a very low level of literacy. A further 16 per cent have only basic literacy skills. As a result, the officers are unable to perform basic tasks in routine police operations such as checking passports, driving licences or forms.
The programme is designed to support the Afghan police force through training and literacy measures in a way that enables police officers to perform their duties more effectively and professionally and to create greater stability and security in the country.
Measures and results
Participants learn to read and write in daily training courses held during their period of service. The German Cooperation with Afghanistan provides support in the form of teachers, teaching materials, tables, benches and blackboards or whiteboards. The literacy courses also cover topics related to the rule of law such as human rights, health, equality and the role of the police in the state structure and its relationship to the people. By improving the general education of police officers, the programme aims to make police work more professional and, at the same time, more attractive. The courses offer police officers opportunities for professional and social advancement.
Several tens of thousands of Afghans in the police force have already attended various literacy courses organised by the programme. To date, more than 25,000 male police officers and over 500 female police officers have received a certificate. The Afghan Ministry of Education now treats this as the equivalent of third-grade education. More than 28,000 male police officers and over 750 female police officers are currently enrolled in the programme. In addition, more than 8,500 participants are taking part in advanced courses that will enable them to reach a sixth-grade level. The training and further education of ‘literacy officers’ has commenced. Their role will be to coordinate literacy courses in the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs.