Afghanistan: Education and practical skills

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By 2021, Afghanistan has made tremendous progress in education. In 2001, only 773,000 children attended primary school; by 2018, the figure was already more than 6.5 million. The number of children in schools at all levels increased from 0.9 million in 2001 to 9.2 million in 2001, of which 39% are girls. At the same time, the participation of girls in the first grade has increased from essentially zero in 2001 to 65% of all girls in 2021.

With the new regime, there are many unknowns regarding education, especially for women. We still do not have enough information to know what access to education will look like in the coming months or years. Currently, there are approximately 2.6 million children without access to education (over 60% are girls). The barriers we record are many - lack of educational capacity and space, lack of teachers, poor transport links, traditional access to education, children's involvement in economic support for the family, school closures due to a global pandemic, or lack of financial resources to buy school supplies and textbooks.

In previous years, People in Need has focused on rebuilding schools in rural areas and subsequently supporting systemic changes in secondary vocational education, specializing in agricultural production. Since this year, it has focused primarily on providing primary schooling for children from households that are in acute material need or have had to leave their homes.

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Past aid programmes

Providing basic educational needs for boys and girls affected by the crisis

Providing basic educational needs for boys and girls affected by the crisis

Creating an educational space for 2,400 children. These are children from families recently affected by conflict, displaced and without access to basic education. In this way, People in Need covers existing gaps that local education institutions or other humanitarian organisations are unable to cover.
Improving the quality of secondary schools

Improving the quality of secondary schools

In the first year of implementation of this programme, we concentrated in increasing the quality of education on several levels. On the level of schools themselves, we tried to increase the quality of education through expert and methodical trainings for the educators and by introducing education in practical trades at schools. Next we concentrated on increasing the competence of the executive staff of these schools – strengthening of their management skills and fundraising abilities. On the system level, we focused on cooperation with key partners (state and local authorities, donors and other actors). Financial self-sufficiency of agricultural school is of primary importance. This approach combines the students gaining practical skills of on school farms and generating new financial means for the development of the school.

In the next phase of the programme, the key instrument for our activities was the instrument for monitoring of the activities and performance of pilot schools the results of which form the basis for certification of model schools. The system of model, pilot schools lays the foundation for spreading good practice into other schools as well. This programme contributed towards the implementation of the national TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) strategy for Afghanistan for the period 2013 to 2018. In addition to the quality of schools being monitored by government institutions they are also linked with private companies and concentrate on education of the practical skills demanded by the employment market. The participation of girls has increased.

In 2017, People in Need cooperated with 20 pilot schools and a further 13 schools were included in the good practice replication programme. One of the results of our activities directed at linking agricultural schools with agricultural enterprises is 284 students who found an internship in of these enterprises.
Supporting the Capacities of the Ministry of Education

Supporting the Capacities of the Ministry of Education

People in Need drew on its long-term experience of operation in the field of agricultural education in Afghanistan.  As part of the programme, we reacted to the enormous growth of secondary agricultural schools and insufficient capacity of the Deputy Ministry of Technical Vocational Education and Training (DM TVET) to ensure quality education in this direction. The objective was to reinforce the capacity of the DM TVET for informed management of agricultural vocational education on central and provincial level in Afghanistan. People in Need intends to achieve this by training DM TVET representatives, setting up a functional monitoring system, setting up minimal standards for school facilities and sharing information in the sector of vocational education. In this programme company experts play a consulting role. The objective is to secure structural changes and mainly to increase capacities and skills in the relevant department of the Ministry of Education at central level and its branches at province level in the field of management and support of the functioning of secondary agricultural schools. 

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