Afghanistan: lessons from a decade of cooperation with the Ministry of Education

An evidence-based IIEP publication

IIEP has just published a new book, On the Road to Resilience: Capacity Development with the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan, documenting lessons learned in building education planning capacity during the past ten years.

Education in Afghanistan has made remarkable gains over the last decade, in spite of the ongoing conflict and the frequent attacks on students, teachers and schools. In 2001, just 1 million primary school age children were enrolled, with girls accounting for a tiny fraction. By 2008, 6 million children were in school, including 2.3 million girls. The number of classrooms in the country has tripled and teacher recruitment has increased. Yet, 42% of schoolchildren are still out of school and the quality of the education is still a major concern. Quality, relevant education will be indispensable to building a future peace in the country (Source: 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report). This will require massive sustained investments in developing the capacity of Afghanistan’s education system, as documented in the 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report, released on 1 March 2011.

When IIEP began its cooperation with Afghanistan in 2002, the Ministry of Education faced dire capacity issues. In addition to building schools or training teachers, educational planning has been central to the reconstruction of Afghanistan’s education sector, including: the development of two education plans in national languages, the collection of educational data through Afghanistan’s first school survey, the setting up of an information system, school mapping, teacher registration, and organizational reform of the Ministry.

Supported by funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IIEP’s new book investigates this process and the numerous challenges that war-torn Afghanistan faces in rebuilding its education sector. The book features case studies of capacity development partnerships between Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education and a number of education partners, including IIEP and UNESCO’s Kabul Office.

On 10 March 2011, the book is presented at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, Netherlands.