Afghanistan Print Page
A little girl shows off the drawing she made. © ISAF
Afghanistan is a landlocked, mountainous country located in South Asia with a population of 33.4 million. Annual economic growth has fluctuated over the past decade, with an average growth of 8.7% annually. Afghanistan ranks 175th out of 186 countries in the 2013 UNDP Human Development Index.
Afghanistan joined the Global Partnership for Education in 2011 when its 2011-2013 Interim Education Sector Plan was endorsed. The education sector faces many challenges: low access to primary education, traditional obstacles to enrollment, in particular for girls, and low capacity within the Ministry of Education to deliver quality education services.
The country’s share of its budget going to education increased from 15% to 17% between 2009 and 2010. Almost three quarters (72%) of the education budget is spent on basic education.
The overall goal set out in the Interim Plan is that all school-age children should have equitable access, without discrimination, to a quality education in order to acquire the competencies they need to become healthy, productive individuals, able to continue to higher education. The Plan defines key targets for gross enrollment rates in basic education (104% for boys and 103% for girls), the number of students in Islamic education (half a million with at least 40 % female), the number of teachers who have passed the national competency test (at least 95%), the national literacy rate (75%), and the rate of enrollment in technical and vocational programs for basic education graduates (at least 12%).
GPE provided ongoing advice through the application process. The Country Lead for Afghanistan visited the country to orient the Local Education Group on GPE processes and procedures. Since becoming a GPE-member country, Afghanistan has been participating in GPE workshops, and also has access to its knowledge-sharing platforms.
Afghanistan received a GPE grant of $55.7 million in 2011, with UNICEF as Supervising Entity. Implementation suffered an initial delay and the first installment of $9 million was disbursed in 2012.
The gender parity index in primary completion is 0.68 (2010), which means that Afghanistan still has a long way to go to get more girls into school and completing primary education. Only 68% percent of Afghan children finish primary school (2010). The youth literacy rate is low at 39% (2008) but is expected to increase sharply after the implementation of the interim Plan. Afghanistan hired 4,744 new primary school teachers in 2010.
for Primary Completion Rate
as % of Total Public Spending
as % of Total Education Spending
AT A GLANCE
Local Education Group
Local Education Group
A Local Education Group (LEG) is a forum of stakeholders within the education sector who develop, implement, monitor and evaluate education sector plans. All member countries of the Global Partnership have a LEG. They are led by the national government, and are composed of education development partners such as donors and development agencies, teachers' organizations, civil society organizations, and private education providers. Nonetheless, the specific composition, title, and working arrangements of a LEG vary from country to country.