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Education: Haley Schaefer

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Educational situation in Afghanistan:
The Taliban had many harsh and long lasting effects on the education of Afghanistan’s people for the six years they were in power. Education was used as a method of spreading communist or Taliban ideology in the form of the textbooks and curriculum taught with. Taliban operated schools are now considered terrorist training grounds. During the six years the Taliban was in power there also was not a single girl enrolled in school. After the Taliban many girls were grateful to return to school. This resulted in many girls being in their twenties as a sophomore in high school. Even after the time of the Taliban, schools for girls are considered “soft targets” or easy targets. (Brinkerhoff)  Many criminal violent actions involved these schools. There are accounts of men throwing grenades inside windows, threatening to throw acid on the girls or completely burning down the schools.  Despite all of these criminal actions representatives of the Taliban say they are not against education; they just want a Shariah (Islam) form of education. This religious form of education can still be found at schools called madrasas, but these schools only offer education to boys. (The Taliban: Friend to Education?) The Taliban’s destruction of the education system in Afghanistan was detrimental to the Afghan society and its children, but it is now on the road to recovery.

Efforts to reconstruct the Education system

Some families during these years were able to educate their children in secret homeschooling. Despite the risk of large fines, and estimated 60,000 children, mostly girls, were taught this way. This motivation from parents was a positive sign in the efforts to reconstruct education in Afghanistan. Beyond parents, after the Taliban, NGOs made huge efforts to improve education. Listed below are a few of the many that have been involved. Although there was a huge surge of foreign aid initially, much of this enthusiasm declined and the amount a foreign aid did as well. Looking at statistics after the Taliban, the results are positive. Many schools have been built, and enrollment rates have improved tremendously, but there is still much to be done. This effort is a way to create a base of education that may one day form a stable country. Education is closely tied to the way a country operates.

·         Statistics:

          Currently 20.5 percent of Afghan children attend primary school

·         12 percent of girls receive a primary education compared to 47 percent of all boys.

·         After the Taliban 5.4 million children were enrolled in school, 1.6 of them girls

          Number of teachers has grown to 142,500

·         Now more than 10,000 operating schools

As these statistics illustrate, Afghanistan is lagging behind in all aspects of education, but as soon as the Taliban became out of power education started heading in the right direction immediately.  

Organizations and Missions



There is an endless list of organizations whose mission is to improve the current situation of the education system in Afghanistan. Some of the most prominent and mentioned frequently in the discussions concerning Afghan Education are CARE and UNICEF.  Others include Help the Afghan Children, Inc., The Children of War Organization, Katachel e. V, Afghan Women and Education, and School Supplies for Afghanistan. Each of these organizations have different specific goals to help the people of Afghanistan and the education system. 

Care Organization: Raises awareness to stop violence against women in Afghanistan. They train community and educational leaders to have effective risk management strategies. They also find safe locations for schools.


UNICEF:  An organization that has helped build schools and aided in many other ways to help create a stable education system. They also have many other focus areas to promote health, protection, education and equality.


Works Cited

Alvi-aziz, Hayat. "A progress report on women’s education in post-Taliban Afghanistan." International Journal of Lifelong Education 27 (2008): n. pag. EBSCOhost. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

Brinkerhoff, Jennifer M. "Digital Diasporas and International Development: Afghan-Americans and the Reconstruction of Afghanistan - Brinkerhoff - 2004 - Public Administration and Development." Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2004. Web. 23 Sept. 2011. <>.

Deep, Rana. "Education in Afghanistan A Requirement for Assuring Stability and Development." DIAS- Analysis 21 (2007): n. pag. Dias-online. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

"The Taliban: Friend to Education? - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <

"Report Finds Girls' Schools in Afghanistan Face Highest Risk of Violence; Suggests Steps for Preventing Attacks." CARE :: Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <

"Afghanistan." U.S. Department of State. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <>.