Afghanistan: Education and practical skills
After the fall of Taliban regime which, amongst other things, forbade the education of girls and women, there was a shortage of educational institutions. Schools were unmaintained or had been destroyed in the foregoing fighting. On top of that this long underfinanced sector lacks of qualified teachers on all levels. Enormous growth in the number of students demanded the renewal of educational infrastructure. Education was therefore one of the crucial development activities of People in Need in Afghanistan.
After a few years of investment into repairs and new buildings, the situation significantly improved. But the problems of the content of education continue. Schools are not managed effectively, education is based on an obsolete teaching curriculum and there is a lack of qualified and experienced teachers.
The standard of secondary schools, the number of which has been growing significantly in the last years, is poor. The same applies to the standard of primary schools. The teaching is theoretically oriented and the pupils are not given the opportunity to master practical skills which is essential mainly for the practical trades.
In the first phase of reconstruction, People in Need helped to repair over 90 schools in rural regions. Over recent years, we have concentrated mainly on system changes in secondary vocational schools specialised in agricultural production.
Improving the quality of secondary schools
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.