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Afghanistan

 
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Afghanistan

Adult Literacy

Functional literacy courses which had existed since the 1950s were considerably developed during the 1970s, along with appropriate teaching and reading materials for new literate. The politicized promotion of adult literacy by the PDPA after 1978, however, was greatly resented. In the 1990s, aid providers enthusiastically sponsor adult courses, but it is difficult for new literate to maintain their acquired skills because insufficient attention is given to producing suitable reading materials.

Current Activities

Teacher training, textbook development, supplementary readings, curricula, school supplies and construction are all emphasized by agencies assisting Afghanistan's education sector. In many instances, literacy and numeracy are combined with, health, dental care, demining, agriculture and other skills training. Goals emphasize literacy for productivity so as to build human capacities, but, as in the past, social needs are secondary. According to the 1995 work plan prepared by twenty-six Afghan and international NGOs and three UN agencies, their programs serve 20 provinces. Again, provinces such as Ghor, Bamiyan, Nimroz and Badakhshan continue to be neglected.

Despite these efforts, education receives only about 10 percent of the funding provided for other sectors. Schools are still without buildings in many areas and sustainability is questionable because of insufficient coordination, underutilized trained teachers, inattention to quality improvement, inadequate teaching materials, monitoring, and evaluation.

Not enough attention has been made to devise special education courses to reach young, one-time mujahideen who opted to go to war instead of completing their education. These restive individuals are unable to submit to constructive discipline such as school attendance, yet they have no technical competence to enable them to contribute productively to the society. Existing programs, therefore, fall far short in human resource capacity building which is arguably the most crucial need facing Afghanistan today.

In areas administered by the Taliban, emphasis is placed on maximizing religious subjects, schools for girls are closed and female teachers are forbidden to teach. Many NGOs, on instruction from their donors, have suspended assistance in those areas where female education is curtailed. Others seek alternative options such as home schools, but the education system as a whole is beset with grave limitations on key issues such as equitable access and quality instruction. Several future generations will be severely handicapped as a result.

Data as of 1997

 

Afghanistan - TABLE OF CONTENTS

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


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Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


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