Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 27th, 2019

New Solar Year: Year of Education transformation

The new solar year was officially launched by the President Ashraf Ghani. He termed the new solar year as education year. The president stressed the need to pay more attention to the development of the education sector in Afghanistan.
Education is a human right. And all governments are entitled to take the necessary measures to ensure access to education. There are many children being denied not only this right, but opportunities; a fair chance to get a decent job, to escape poverty, to support their families, and to develop their communities. To this end, the president envisioned converting the Education Ministry into a thoroughly professional institution as the top priority of his government. However, it is a challenging task: 50 percent of schools in the country have no buildings, half of teachers do not meet modern standards, 3.5 million eligible children are out of school and around 1,000 schools are closed across the country. Many of those who remain out of school are the hardest to reach, as they live in areas that are held back by insecurity, traditional social values and norms. Construction of school buildings require financial resources while revenue generation is very meager and there is not enough funding resources by the international community for Afghanistan. Reopening the closed schools is far more challenging because they are either in the areas under control of the Taliban or there are high security risks that families of the children deny sending their children to school in these areas.
To address the fact that about 3.5million children are not learning the basic skills they need to enter the labor market is more than a moral obligation in Afghanistan. It amounts to an investment in sustainable development and prosperity of the nation. For both Afghanistan and these children, there is a direct link between access to quality education and economic and social development that no one can deny it. One of the other vital issues is ensuring that Afghan girls are not kept at home, but can complete education to play an equal role in shaping the future of Afghanistan as their male counterparts; because, Afghanistan will not reap sustainable benefits relating to health, equality and job creation unless it provides equal education access and opportunity for both girls and boys. To ensure that Afghanistan succeeds in achieving progress and prosperity, it needs an educational system to enable and foster “twenty-first-century skills,” like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and digital literacy. Based on this, Afghanistan educational curriculum requires reviewing and aligning with the current needs of the country and also it requires professional and trained teachers to translate such a curriculum into practice.
Job creation is one of the other vital factors in Afghanistan. It is necessary for Afghan policy makers to ensure that the right policies are established so that enough jobs are created and filled in the country. Addressing this, requires a robust education system- equipped with qualified, professionally trained, motivated, and well-supported teachers. As a result, quality of education and sustaining it, plays a vital role in the education system. To ensure this, the government must work with the private sector and civil society organizations to find the best ways to improve the quality of education and sustain it. Also, the government shall support the innovation and forging new partnerships in the education sector in Afghanistan.
Education is one of the most vital sectors in Afghanistan. It can ensure the socio-economic development and prosperity in the country. However, education sector faces numerous security, economic, human resource and quality challenges in the country. Addressing these challenges require a vibrant education ministry, political support and curriculum standardization in Afghanistan. Also, ensuring public-private sector partnership, close cooperation with the civil society organizations, and forging national and international partnerships in the education sector are preconditions to a quality education system in Afghanistan. Further, the policy makers shall ensure establishing policy frameworks for job creation and filling them with qualified individuals to ensure socio-development and prosperity in Afghanistan.