Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 28th, 2020

Reforms in Kankor Exams

Some fundamental reforms are needed in our educational system, particularly the old-era methods of university entry-test Kankor.

There are many problems with the education sector that need fundamental reforms. However, some issues of important priority include evaluation of the proposal to abolish the Kankor system and replace it with early separation of major fields of study from 9th or 10th grades at high school.

Annually over 150,000 students take part in the Kankor test of university entrance. Only about 30 percent of them make it to the public institutes of higher education. The Kankor is a very old method, which Afghan students from all across the country must take part to be eligible to join any public university. The Ministry of Higher Education conducts the test in Kabul and provincial centers every year at the end of the school terms. After 12th grade at school, all students who intend to continue education are needed to take Kankor. The test is prepared with contents from all science and arts subjects taught at school. Annually, around 40,000 are accepted from among over 150,000 participants. Based on exam marks, the Ministry recommends successful candidates to particular universities. Over 100,000 students remain without any fate. They can apply at private universities. There are few standard private institutions, but most of the students are from poor family background and cannot afford.

But the worst of all is that the Ministry of Higher Education chooses who is eligible for a particular field of study or major. Students choose four fields of major in order of priority and their Kankor marks determines which major he/she is eligible to apply for. For instance, if a student has passion to become a doctor, but he cannot achieve exam scores needed for the field, he will have to study fine arts, if suggested.

One major reason for thousands of school graduates who are unable to make it to university is the tough and flawed system of Kankor entry-test. They discontinue education after several attempts. Given the few number of universities across the country, over 100,000 students remain deprived of their right to continue higher education. They are compelled to look for low-paying jobs due to lack of professional skill. It has its huge psychological and social impacts.

The Government needs to completely abolish this system and replace it with separation of major fields of studies from 10th grade at high school. Colleges should be established for 11th and 12th grade, which aside from separating majors should also serve as preparing students for university standard.