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Afghanistan

 
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Afghanistan

EDUCATION

Two parallel educational systems function in Afghanistan. Traditional Islamic madrassa found in towns and villages teach children basic moral values and ritual knowledge through the study of the Holy Koran, the Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet Mohammad), and popular edited religious texts. Higher level madrassa located in Herat, Kunduz, Ghazni, Kandahar and Kabul were known as important learning centers. Leading religious leaders also attended famous madrassa in India such as the renowned establishment located at Deoband.

The older generation was educated in madrassa or privately at home. The modern educational system was introduced at the end of the nineteenth century by the government which used it as a means to convince traditionalists of the compatibility of Islam with modernization. This system was subsequently expanded with the continued assistance of France, Germany, Turkey, India, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union.

In 1935, education was declared universal, compulsory and free. With its expansion, the secular system came to be regarded as the principle medium for creating a national ideology and emphasized productive skills while effectively limiting Islamic studies to ritual knowledge. By the 1960s, technical education assumed critical importance because of the surge in development.

Beginning as early as the reign of Amir Abdur Rahman (1880-1901), considerable attention was paid to extending secular elementary schools, lycees and vocational schools to the rural areas. Nevertheless, education remained primarily the prerogative of upper urban groups. By the 1960s as the expanding government apparatus required more bureaucrats, ninety percent of all school graduates were employed by government with the result that the educated tended to be seen by villagers as government officials. Graduates of madrassa sought careers as religious functionaries or judges.

Since 1978, however, a steady decline has all but demolished the educational infrastructure. Afghanistan in 1996 had the highest illiteracy rate in Asia, for both men and women.

Data as of 1997

 

Afghanistan - TABLE OF CONTENTS

Afghanistan - EDUCATION


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GENERAL FACTS & LINKS

Country name
Afghanistan
conventional long form
Islamic State of Afghanistan
conventional short form
Afghanistan
local long form
Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form
Afghanestan
former
Republic of Afghanistan

Area -
total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Geographic Location - Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Map references - Asia

Capital - Kabul

Border Countries - China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km

Major Cities - Kabul, Majar-e-Sharief, Jalalabad

Independence - Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

National holiday - Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

Languages Spoken - Pushtu, Dari Persian, other Turkic and minor languages

Weather Forecast -
 Farah
 Faizabad
 Herat
 Jalalabad
 Jabul Saraj
 Mazar I Sharif
 Shindand
 Shebirghan
 Zebak
 Zaranj

Airports - Kabul Airport

Ports - Kheyrabad, Shir Khan

Population - 27,755,775 (July 2002 est.)

Religion - Sunni Muslim 84%, Shi'a Muslim 15%, other 1%

Nationality - Afghan(s)

Currency - Afghani

Currency Code - AFA

Internet country code - .af

Mountains & Peaks - Shah Fuladi

Lakes - Helmand, Istada

Rivers - Amudarya, Harirud, Helmand, Kabul

Terrain - mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest

Climate - arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Geography - landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)

Waterways - 1,200 km note: chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT (2001)

Natural hazards - damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts

Natural Resources - natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones


Afghanistan related links from
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Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


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