Following decades of conflict and tumult, almost half of Afghanistan's children are still not attending schools. Despite an increase of teachers since 2001, only 24% of teachers have the minimum qualifications to teach. The country lacks common and appropriate standards for certifying teachers and accrediting teacher training institutions. Consequently, the quality of education in Afghanistan is poor.
The project will be designed during 2011-12. The primary objective is to establish a system for the certification of teachers and the accreditation of teacher training institutions in Afghanistan.
Main objectives will be:
- improving the standards of teacher training institutions and quality of existing teachers within the education system;
- enhancing quality of classroom teaching;
- increasing equity in the delivery of education services across Afghanistan;
- contributing to greater access to education for boys and girls; and
- increasing primary completion percentage and secondary school enrolment.
Three decades of war, socio-economic and political conflict, and repression have devastated Afghanistan’s educational system, which was already at a low level. During this time, an estimated 80% of trained teachers and university professors either fled the country or took other jobs.
Key educational challenges include:
- only 24% of teachers meet the minimum qualifications of grade 14;
- Four million children remain out of school;
- 11 million people are considered illiterate;
- A mere 25% of schools have usable buildings;
- Access to education for girls and women remains limited by cultural and security concerns.
A massive skills deficit cuts across all institutions in Afghanistan, including nearly all departments, offices and schools of the Ministry of Education (MOE). There is an urgent need for civil service reform.
Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made in the past five years, with enrolment in grades 1-12 up to over 6 million children from just 900,000 in 2001, with girls accounting for 35% of enrolment. Thousands of teachers have been trained to help keep up with this demand for education. There are now 52,200 students at higher education institutions. Afghan authorities admit, however, that it is crucial to improve the quality of education.
The challenge of unqualified teachers is linked to the low standards of teacher training institutes. The establishment of national standards and the accreditation of teacher training institutes are ways to ensure new teachers, emerging from institutions meet the quality standards for education set by the Government of Afghanistan. The accreditation also encourages teachers to update and improve their skills and classroom performance throughout their career.
WUSC's Teacher Certification and Accreditation Project (TCAP) is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).