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Part II: Analytic Section


Early childhood development programmes provide environmental influences, which gradually interact with the developing abilities and disposition of young children to help develop social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and creative aspects of his personality. For the ‘disadvantaged children" with social, economic, educational or emotional deficiencies, these programmes provide stimulation’s designed to remove obstacles to learning.

Afghanistan had an early childhood development programme as far back as 1980. The programme covered children of 3-5 years. Participation rates for boys and girls stood at 0.3 and 0.2 per cent respectively. The programme grew substantially during next five years and the participation rate was 1 per cent in 1985. The number of pre-schools kept on increasing steadily from 27 in 1980 to 195 in 1990 in spite of continued armed struggle and migration of refugees to neighbouring countries. However, the impact of continued instability and destruction of economic infrastructure started to show in 1995 when the number decreased to 88. An enrolment of 2,110 is documented in UN Yearbooks (Annex I)

No early childhood development programme is reported in some documents, perhaps because of its size. Data collected for this review indicates limited support of pre-school programmes by NGOs/Agencies. Only one of the 25 NGOs/Agencies reported supporting one pre-school and early childhood programme. However, qualification of teachers at pre-school level has been reported. Of the 35 teachers at this level, reported by NGOs/Agencies, only one is male; none is trained (Annex XIII). Similarly, Provincial Directorates of Education did not report on number of pre-schools or their enrolment, but reported employment of 406 teachers, all male; half trained and half untrained.Either, these teachers organize educational activities for underage children coming to primary schools or they are just being kept employed for social and political considerations.

The security situation prevalent in many areas has probably discouraged parents from sending their children to pre-schools. The Taliban edict on female employment has probably also contributed to the lowing of demand for these programmes. Thus, on the whole, early childhood development programmes do not appear to be well organized or widely available at the end of the EFA decade.

Due to the fragmentary nature of the early childhood data, EFA 2000 Indicators 1 and 2* have been assumed to be zero since it is probably appropriate to report the virtual collapse of the early childhood sector in Afghanistan. Such a situation raises a degree of

concern, as without some critical mass of expertise, it will be extremely difficult to rebuild the sector following the current period of unrest. A strategy to try and preserve whatever expertise is remaining could usefully be developed.

*Indicator 1 = Gross enrolment ratio in Early Childhood Development (ECD)

*Indicator 2 = Percentage of new entrants to grade 1 with ECD experience.


III.1 Even though primary education was officially made compulsory and free in 1964, serious implementation did not take place. Consequently, gross enrolment ratios for boys and girls stood at 35 and 19 respectively in 1990. Gross enrolment ratios registered upward trend during the EFA decade. These ratios, as reported in UNESCO Statistical Yearbooks, have increased for boys from 35 in 1990 to 63 in 1995 and for girls from 19 to 32 in the same period (Figure III.1). While gross enrolment ratio for boys has

Figure III. 1. Gross Enrolment Ratios by Gender, 1990-99

increased steadily, there have been ups and down in respect of girls. Again, GER for girls, which was 54 per cent of that for boy in 1990 is only 51 per cent of boys in 1995. Though slow, the upward trend is clearly visible. Due to the unavailability of accurate population data, the GER for 1999 needs to treated cautiously. However the survey asked respondents to estimate the "percentage of children not attending schools". The minimum and maximum estimates are reported in Table III.1 and are consistent with the figures reported in Figure III.1. In the absence of formal population data these are presented as estimates for the Gross Enrolment Ratio (Indicator 3) for 1999. The decline in the GER for boys to 53% may be explained by the incomplete data set. The GER for girls is a matter of major concern. If it were not for the support of Agency schools, the girls GER would be considerably worse (see Indicator spreadsheet 3). There is demand for education of girls, due, in part to the heightened contact with the outside world during the Afghan war. However, that demand is not being met, instead restrictions have been imposed by the Taliban on movement and employment of girls. This edict is not being enforced in rural areas and a large number of home schools have sprung up with community support.

Table III.1. Estimates of Percentage of Children not Attending School by Region





























NA = Not available.

Figure III.2 shows the estimate of Gross Enrollment Ratio for each region. Girls are represented poorly in every region with the Gender Parity Index varying from 0 to 0.2 across the regions. The Northern region has three districts who failed to provide data, hence its GER is underestimated considerably. Central Region also had two district not providing data and it still has one of the highest GERs. This data point to the gross inequality of the distribution of educational services across Afghanistan

Figure III.2 Gross Enrollment Ratios by Region

Source: Table 4 EFA 2000 Indicators

Primary Schools

IPrimary education in Afghanistan covers ‘the first six years of a child’s schooling’ between the ages of 7-8 and 13-14. Primary schools provide undifferentiated education for the purpose of imparting ‘literacy and elementary knowledge about life,’ and for preparing ‘students for secondary education.’

It is obvious that continued state of war and changing philosophies of different governments during the EFA decade have impacted both on the quality of and access to primary education. The Afghan war has destroyed the educational infrastructure, demolished school buildings, and has killed teachers. The number of primary schools in

1990 stood at 589 (see Table III.2) as against 3,459 in 1978 (Annex III). Even after adding 2,044 Agency schools, which were not included in the 1990 data, the availability of schools stood depressed by about 19 per cent. The national school survey (1993-94), conducted by UNO/ESSP, found 2,202 schools (government as well as Agency schools) active and in session. This was considerably less than the number implied in the 1993 ACBAR report, which suggested the existence of 2292 Agency schools. The expanded

Table III.2: Estimates of Number of Schools during the EFA Decade


































Girls as % of total


*These figures are in contradiction.

**Empty cells point to the fragmented nature of the historical data

involvement of NGOs/Agencies and the expectations of peace in the country, following the establishment of Interim Islamic Government in spring 1992, increased accessibility of primary education between 1990 to 1993. Even then the number of schools did not reach the level of 1978 (Annex III).

Preoccupation of local authorities with war has resulted in reduced concern for education of children. The struggle between different Mujahideen factions from 1992 to 1996 and the emergence of the Taliban phenomenon, leading to restrictions on education and employment of girls, drastically altered the political and security perceptions of Agencies. The conditions created "contextual issues" for the assistance community which "determine the limits of what can be done." Invariably, what can be done and what is being done by these Agencies is much less than what needs to be done to maintain basic education facilities even at the 1990 level. How these contextual issues have affected Agency support for primary education in different regions between 1990 to 1999 is shown in Figure III.3 based of data in Annex V.

Figure III.3. Changes in Number of Agency Supported Primary Schools in Different

Regions during 1990-99

Most affected were central and northern regions, which traditionally had greater demand for education but where security conditions, continued to deteriorate. Though Agency support has kept steadily decreasing during the EFA decade, the situation remained stable in northern and eastern regions during 1955 – 1999. Data collected for this review indicates that schools in Jawzjan, Faryab and Badghis bordering Turkmenistan, in Nimroz and Helmand bordering Pakistani Balochistan, and in Ghor were not supported by Agencies between 1995 to 1999 (Annex V).

Some progress towards access and equity goals of EFA Declaration (1990) is noticeable in the data collected for this review. Compared to the ground survey data of 1993, there are more primary schools in 1999. This not withstanding the fact that data on Directorate schools from 5 provinces has not yet been collected. Girls’ schools have increased by almost fifty per cent from 290 to 446, while boys’ schools increased by only three per cent. The important role played by Agencies in improving gender equity situation is underscored by the fact that 20 out of 24 provinces report no girls’ schools operating in the province.

Access and Equity

(a) Distribution of Schools

Access is indicated by the availability of educational facilities for all those who wish to attend school. Thus, the number of schools in a community in terms of population of school age children is a measure of access. Population in Afghanistan is very unevenly distributed. About 53 per cent population lives in central and northern regions. More people live in Kabul province than in the western region comprising of Badghis, Farah, Ghor and Herat provinces. In 1990, educational facilities were more unevenly distributed than population. Thirty-six percent of all primary schools were located in northern region for twenty-seven per cent population. Western and Southern regions had proportionately lesser educational facilities in terms of their population.

There is more even and equitable distribution of educational facilities in Afghanistan in 1999 than ever before. In 1993, only 9 and 11 per cent of primary schools were located respectively in Western and Southern regions. While the Western region still remains under served in 1999, 26 per cent of primary schools are now located in Southern region. Based on data in Annex III and IV the regional distrib

Figure III.4. Regional Distribution of Primary Schools in 1993 and 1999

Schools were located respectively in Western and Southern regions. While the Western region still remains under served in 1999, 26 per cent of primary schools are now located in Southern region. Based on data in Annex III and IV the regional distributions of primary schools in 1993 and 1999 are shown in Figure III.4.

In 1990, fifty-three per cent of all primary school students were studying in one province – Kabul. Again, eighty per cent of all school children attended schools in northern and central regions. In spite of this uneven dispersal of schools, primary schools existed in all provinces of Afghanistan in 1990, even though in inadequate numbers in some areas.

Girls in Schools

Equity denotes fair and equitable educational facilities for both boys and girls. In Afghanistan’s conservative Muslim society, education of girls has been traditionally accorded a lower priority due to social and cultural factors. The number of girls’ school as per cent of total number of schools is a good measure of equity. In 1978, girls’ had access to only 13.1 per cent schools (Annex VI). The secular policies of communist-inspired regimes helped to improve the equity situation. Thus, in 1990, girls had access to almost 20 per cent primary schools. The destruction of schools, migration of large population to neighbouring countries and worsening security situation led to reduction in number of both boys’ and girls’ school. In 1993, girls had access to only 13.2 per cent schools. This brought back the equity situation to where it stood fifteen years ago.

Towards the end of the EFA decade girls have access to 38 per cent of Agency supported schools. Data collected for this review is clearly indicative of this broad trend. Where political and security situation improves, growing demand for education and willingness of local community to participate help improve the equity situation. The existence of this demand is supported by anecdotal evidence regarding the development of ‘Home Schooling’. It would be appropriate for this trend to be investigated further as the movement may provide developing insights into education in Afghanistan. The mood of the population is clearly reflected in the fact that girls attend all mixed schools functioning under the Agencies. On the other hand, girls have access to less than 2 per cent of Directorate schools. Closing of all girls’ schools in 20 of the 24 provinces, from where data has been collected, has seriously undermined the equity situation.

The proportion of girls’ schools in Afghanistan has increased from 13.2 in 1993 to almost 14.5 per cent in 1999. This proportion has risen considerably in Eastern and Central regions due to increase in number of girls’ and mixed schools developed by Agencies and reduction in boys’ schools. The relative lull in war in these regions since the takeover by the Talibans has made this possible.


During the EFA decade, enrolment of boys in primary schools showed a steady increase while that of girls decreased. Figure III.5 brings out this trend clearly. As Directorate data is received from the remaining provinces, enrolment of boys is likely to increase considerably though enrolment of girls may increase very nominally, if at all. The factors affecting female enrolment may be political (Taliban edict against movement of females), awareness of the need for education of girls, overall security situation and parental concerns for personal safety of girls. The increase in boys’ enrolment may be due to increasing awareness of the advantages of education and improvement in the law and order situation in a large number of provinces.

Increased demand for education and Agency inputs, have brought out a more even distribution of enrolment across regions. The Table III.3 shows the leveling of differences among regions. Primary school enrolment in Provinces situated along the

Figure III.5– Enrolment Trend during the Decade

Source: Data in Annex VII and VIII.

Pakistani border – Kunar, Nangarhar. Paktika, Paktya, Kandhar, Nimruz, Zabul, Helmand, Ghazni, Oruzgan and Laghman – showed a higher rate of increase than

Table III.3. Changes in Distribution of Enrolment Among Regions during the EFA Decade





22.4 %














Source Annex VII

provinces in Northern and Central regions. Thus, at the close of the Decade only enrolment in the Western regions remains proportionately very low. In coming years, greater effort needs to be directed to increase enrolment in Provinces forming the Western region.

(a) Gender Dimension

A peak enrolment of 214,561 in girls’ primary schools was reported in 1990. This enrolment was 34.1 per cent of total primary school enrolment. The above enrolment figure excludes enrolment of girls in Agency schools. The 1993 UNO/ESSP School survey, on the other hand, show an enrolment of 74,637 girls in all local and Agency schools, which were operational at that time (Annex VII). This marks a reduction of 65 per cent. This could possibly be due to inconsistencies in data sets due to continued war, civil strife and migration of population.

In 1993, however, the share of girls dipped down to 11 per cent. The data collected for this review indicates that female enrolment is now only 7.2 per cent of the total (Annex IX). Restrictions on movement and education of girls have resulted in closure of girls’ schools in all but three of the eighteen Provinces. Within this scenario, there are wide differences in different parts of the country. Changing female enrolment patterns in different regions are illustrated in Figure III. 6.



Figure III.6. Enrolment of Girls as Per cent of Total Enrolment

Source: Based on data in Annex IX.

Note: Data for 1999 pertains to all Agency schools and Directorate schools in only 24 of the 29 provinces.

Enrolment of girls as per cent of total enrolment, at Primary school, has more or less held its ground in the Northern and Central regions. Demand for girls’ education has all along been strong in central and northern regions. Girls in Kabul and Parwan provinces in the central and in Balkh and Faryab provinces in the north have been attending school in high numbers since 1978. Slight improvement in the Central region in 1999 is due to exclusion of Kabul Province during the survey of 1993. In the three remaining regions, enrolment of girls as per cent of total enrolment has gone down considerably, in spite of increased enrolment in Agency schools. This is, of couse, due to the closure of girls’ schools by the Talibans.

The marked differences in the ratio of boys and girls attending schools in different provinces come out clearly in Annex IX. At the time of Russian invasion, the central region, which included Kabul province, and the northern region, which included Badakshan province had a higher proportion of girls in primary schools. Due to efforts of Agencies to meet growing demand for female education, the situation has drastically changed in many provinces. Female participation has increased in many provinces where traditionally few girls went to school. For example, in Nimroz province school enrolment consisted of 48.5 per cent girls. On the other hand, in many areas, where female education has a long tradition, participation was low. For example, Faryab province in the north had no girl students in primary schools. Political and security conditions as well as extent of community involvement in education have affected the level of female participation. The situation keeps changing from year to year. This is evidenced from data collected for this review, which shows female participation even in provinces that during 1993 survey showed no girls’ primary school or student.

Distribution Dimension

The UNO/ESSP survey collected data on rural-urban dimension of enrolment. Seventy per cent of all boys and girls enrolled in primary schools belonged to rural areas whereas thirty per cent lived in urban areas (Annex X). Within this broad scenario there were vast differences in distribution of educational services in different regions and provinces. Thus in Faryab and Paktika provinces, 100 per cent enrolment was in rural areas. Similarly, in Bagdis and Zabul provinces, 95 per cent of all students lived in rural areas. On the other hand, 94 per cent of all students of Nimruz province, 64 per cent of Balkh and 61 per cent of Kandahar province were from urban areas.

III.20 Rural girls form 4.5 per cent of total enrolment as against 6.6 per cent of urban girls. In Badakhshan, Baghlan and Jawzjan provinces in north, Kunar in east and Bamyan in centre, rural girls make up a larger chunk of enrolment than urban girls. In some of these areas, where female literacy has traditionally been very high, enrolment of girls continues to be high. In other areas,this may be indicative of improved security situation in rural communities consequent upon installation of Interim Islamic government in Afghanistan in spring 1992.

Figure III.7. Enrolment by Gender and Area 1993


Non-formal education is conceived as an organised and systematic educational activity, outside the framework of the formal system. These programmes seek to provide selected types of learning experiences to different interest and age groups in the population. These out-of-school activities may aim at raising awareness, developing marketable skills, meeting urgent community needs, and initiating collective social and political action.

Data collected for this review indicates that Agencies provide more facilities and varied non-formal programmes to cater to the need of out-of-school youth and vulnerable groups than do the local provincial authorities. Of the 24 provinces from where data was collected, only Kabul, Paktya and Logar reported availability of non-formal training facilities. On the other hand, 12 of the 25 Agencies sampled reported operation of non-formal centres. Both Agencies and Education Directorates have segregated as well as mixed facilities.

(a) Programmes of Non-Formal Centres

Non-formal centres provide both literacy and skill development programmes. These centres generally offer two types of programmes. One is centre-based and the other is apprenticeship. The centre-based programme includes a component of literacy, which is provided in six months. The skill development programmes follow the literacy programme. The apprenticeship programme helps development of skill through on-the-job training. These centres provide training in a wide range of trades including bicycle repair, carpentry, shoe making, radio repairing, typing, candle making, bakery, tailoring, embroidery, welding, watch repairing, masonry, soap making, painting vehicles, tailoring, radio and TV repairing, etc. Only literate students are admitted into radio and auto-mechanic trades. Duration of training varies from six to eighteen months. Some centres enrol only school children under 15 who have dropped out from school. Others enrol persons over 15.

(b) Access

Facilities for non-formal education are available in twelve of the twenty-nine provinces. Data collected for this review indicated that about 60% of Agency programmes and 35% of Directorate programmes are open to both sexes. Thus, 45% of all non-formal centres are mixed. Combining the female centres, girls have access to 62 % of study centres.

More females are enrolled in Directorate non-formal centres than men are - 1320 against 1190. Females constitute 38% of total enrolment in Agency centres. Thus, while a large majority of non-formal centres are open for females, they are not benefiting fully from the facility. The conditions inhibiting them need to be studied and remedied.

(c) Wastage

Non-formal centres operated by Agencies report 13 per cent drop out among females and 8 per cent among males. Drop out among centres run by Directorates is only three per cent.

Repetition rates reported by Agency centres ranged from less than two per cent in case of females to 5.6 per cent in case of males. Centres operated by Directorates report less than two per cent repetition rate for boys

(d) Teachers

233 teachers work in non-formal centres operated by Agencies; of which 46 per cent are females. This may be due to high social acceptability of teaching as a profession for girls. .Similar proportions of female teachers and male teachers are trained (19 per cent against 18 per cent). Similarly, 68 per cent female teachers have twelve years of schooling as against 26 per cent male teachers (Annex XIII).


Two decades of war has left thousands orphaned, widowed, disabled and homeless. Helping these vulnerable groups back on track is a tremendous task.

Some non-formal centres target these groups by enrolling 20% disabled male, 20% disabled/homeless/jailed females, and 60% vulnerable, needy males. These people are provided skill training, stipend, tools and credit to become productive, useful members of society.

The trainees are provided a monthly stipend, which varies from Rs. 150 to Rs. 450. Centres enrolling school-age children often provide two sets of uniforms every year. On graduation trainees are provided tools worth Rs. 1500.

Needy are also given a credit of up to Rs, 6000, which the trainees start repaying after three months at the rate of Rs. 250 per month.

Skill training of varying duration is provided in a variety of trades. Informal follow up indicates that over 80 % trainees find jobs on completion of training and start paying back.

These vulnerable people have finally something to look forward to in life.


The teaching force increased by 41 per cent from 16,499 in 1990 to 23,248 in 1993. It is still far short of 30,502 at the time of Russian invasion in 1978 (Annex XI). Proportion of female teachers to total teaching force declined from 59.2 per cent in 1990 to 12.6 per cent in 1993 (Annex XII). Data collected for this review from a sample of 25 Agencies and 24 of the 29 provincial Directorates indicates that there are now a total of 27230 teachers of whom 10 per cent are females. Over 69 per cent of all female teachers in the system are working in Agency schools. The remaining 31 per cent are reported by Directorates of Education to be working with them. In view of the restrictions on education and employment of girls by the Taliban this information should be interpreted with caution. Collating data on teachers with that on girls schools indicates that there are 803 teachers in 39 schools. Thus, it appears that many female teachers are being kept employed without actually teaching in schools. Anecdotal reports indicate that female teachers who have no other bread earner in the family, are being so kept employed.

(a) Teachers by level

Female teachers are able to handle younger children with greater ease and understanding. Agencies seem to be fully cognizant of this phenomenon. Even though there is hardly much of a pre-school programme in Afghanistan, 34 out of 35 teachers reported by Agencies are female. None of the teachers in Directorate schools at this level are females.

At the primary level, there are 26385 teachers of whom 10 per cent are females. Of the primary school teachers working with NGOs/Agencies, 14 per cent are females as against 6 per cent of Directorate teachers. This may be the result of the Talibans’ policy to keep women out of employment.

Nearly one in three teachers working at non-formal centres is a female. Most female teachers are working at centres supported by Agencies.

(b) Teacher Qualification

No data on teacher qualification is available in published documents. Data collected for this review shows that about 20 per cent teachers have had nine years of schools while 28 per cent completed twelve years of schooling (Annex XIII). Teachers, who received some training, whether institutional or school-based, constituted only 30 per cent of total with similar proportions in both Agency and Directorate schools.

In the data collected for this review, a higher proportion of male teachers is reported to be trained than female (30% against 23%). The data does not permit desegregation of teachers with institutional training from those receiving short school-based training. A nominally higher percentage of male teachers had twelve years of schooling as compared to female teachers (28% against 26 %).

Prior to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan a national system of teachers colleges existed for teacher training. At that time, a two year teacher preparation following twelve years of schooling was considered necessary for a teacher to be ‘academically qualified’. Table V.1 provides the percentage of teachers with the formal academic qualifications to teach (Indicator 9) and the associated Gender parity index. Indicator 10 is not provided as there was never a concept of "certified to teach" in Afganistan.

Table V.1: Percentage of Primary Teachers with required Academic Qualification (Indicator 9 and associated Gender Parity Index)

Percentage of primary school teachers with required academic qualification

Gender Parity Index


(The whole





Male (M)


Female (F)





Male (M)


Female (F)





Male (M)


Female (F)


There has been no such formal teacher training in operation for nearly 20 years. NGOs have been providing some training courses that are targeting teachers that have not completed 12 years of schooling. These courses range in length from 1 day to 1 month and focus on remedying content deficiencies in addition providing elementary teaching method. This is suggestive of the low standard of secondary education in the country. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the recruitment of teachers is very difficult due to the low status of the teaching profession within the Afghan community. In addition the very low salaries they are often paid very infrequently. There is a risk that the existing teaching expertise will have dissipated by the time peace arrives, and the associated ability to rebuild the professional expertise will be difficult to find.

(c) Pupil-Teacher Ratio

Differences in operational scope of Agencies and Directorate, demand different treatment of data collected from these sources. pupli- teacher ratios for Agency schools during 1999 are presented by Agency (Annex XVI a) whereas those in respect of Directorate schools are presented by District (Annex XVI b).

For the purposes of reporting on EFA 2000 Indicator 11 (Pupil-teacher ratio in primary education) we have reported the directorate schools as public schools and the Agency schools as private schools. While this distinction may not be accurate it does facilitate reporting of the very different pupil teacher ratios in the two sectors.

Many Agencies operate both segregated as well as mixed schools. Data on teachers has not been desegregated into these categories. Hence pupil- teacher ratios for these Agencies are computed on the basis of total enrolment and total strength of teachers. Pupil- teacher ratios of Agency schools range between 12 to 51. The average ratio is close to 30, which is a good average class size for a teacher to work efficiently.

Pupil-teacher ratio in Directorate schools varies from 13 in Paktya to 104 in Kabul with an overall ratio of 50. The difference could be due to greater demand for schooling in Kabul coupled with non-availability of teachers due to security situation. Paktya has been relatively stable since the Talibans took control early in 1995. Hence, there is greater availability of teachers. Low student teacher ratio in Directorate schools in most of the Provinces may be due to poor teaching-learning conditions in these schools and availability of Agency and home schools in the vicinity.


Efficiency implies production of output with minimum input. Thus, any wastage of inputs would lower the efficiency of the system. In the context of schools, measures of internal efficiency of a school system synthesise the effects of repetition and dropout. Repetition and dropout result in wastage of pupil-years and inputs and increase the average cost of producing a school graduate. The data used in this section is derived from the survey items number 8 which recorded enrolment rates for 1998 and survey item number 3 which recorded 1999 enrolments together with repetition rates. This data was then analysed by subjecting it to the EFA2000 Technical guidelines Cohort analysis strategy for assessing internal efficiency. Unfortunately only the Directorate data was able to be analysed in this way, as the agency data was incomplete and fragmented on this issue. However, some general impressions of efficiency issues are made below. A summary of the repetition rates, survival rates and the associated coefficient of efficiency are presented in Table VI.1

Table VI.1: Internal efficiency Indices and Gender parity Indices for Directorate Schools


Male +Female



Gender Parity Index

Average Repetition Rate for Grades 1 to 5 (Indicator 12)





Survival rate to grade 5 (Indicator 13)





Coefficient of efficiency to grade 5 (Indicator 14)





Coefficient of efficiency in Primary Education





Source: EFA 2000 Technical Guidelines Cohort analysis

(a) Repetition Rates

The repetition rate for females (7.4%) is marginally lower than that for males (7.9%) and is based on a much smaller cohort. However, as Figure VI.1 shows, the situation is quite different for promotion and drop out rates in directorate schools.

Figure VI.1: Average Pupil Flow Rates up to Grade 5 for Directorate Schools

Source: EFA 2000 Technical Guidelines Cohort analysis

Automatic promotion seems to be the policy in most of Agency schools in Afghanistan at the primary level. Data collected for this review indicates that female repeaters in the six grades in all Agency schools constitute 0.6% of total enrolment of girls (Annex XIV), while male repeaters constitute 0.7% of boys enrolment. On the other hand, repeaters in Directorate schools constitute 7.9% of total enrolment

These differences in repetition rates may reflect different attitudes between the sectors to the issue of assessment of learning outcomes. There is also some variability in repetition rates across regions, (see Figure VI.2) with the Southern region and the girls in eastern region being very different from the general pattern. Such quality issues were not the focus of data collected for this survey, but should be investigated in consequent case studies.

Figure VI.2 Repetition Rates by Region and Gender

Source: EFA 2000 cohort analysis

The repetition rate at non-formal education centres is higher than in primary schools. The centres supported by Agencies have a higher repetition rate of 3.6 per cant as against 1.6 per cent at centres operated by Directorates. At both these centres, repetition rate is higher for boys than for girls. (Annex XIV).

(b) Dropout Rates

Little drop out data from Afghanistan has been reported in published documents for the EFA decade. Data collected for this review indicates that drop out is higher in Agency schools than in Directorate schools. Again drop out rate is higher for girls than for boys. This is indicative of the low priority attached by parents to girls’ education as compared to boys’ (Annex XV).

Annex XV reports raw data for both sectors reported by agencies and directorates. Enrolment figures for both 1998 and 1999 were sought in the survey to facilitate the cohort analysis provided fro the the EFA-2000: Technical Guidelines. The only useable data for this analysis was provided by the Directorates. The results of this analysis is provided in Annex XXX.Analysis of dropout rates by grade indicated that the dropout rate reaches its peak in grade 2 for boys and grades 3 for girls, and is much higher for girls. Thus, girls experience learning difficulties or family problems in grade 4 have a higher probability of dropping out than that of boys. Dropout is higher in grades 4 to 5 (between 15 and 23 per cent for girls and between 10 and 13 per cent for boys). Average drop out rate in Directorate schools for grades 1 to 5 is higher for girls (21.1%) than for boys (13.8%). With entry age of 7 years, parents might consider it prudent to keep their girls of 11+ at home than risk sending them to school.

A high dropout rate of 11 per cent at Agency non-formal centres is affecting their internal efficiency. The dropout rate is higher for boys as compared to girls (11.3 per cent as against 9.6 per cent). With follow-up indicating high employment rate for graduates of these centres, the high dropout rate must be viewed seriously. Perhaps admission procedure should be streamlined to admit students with high aptitude for the profession concerned. Directorates report no dropout of female students of non-formal centres and a low dropout rate of 2.9 per cent for boys.

(c) Survival Rates

UNO/ESSP provided some survival rate data in their 1993 report. Two hundred and ninety boys and one hundred and eighty girls reached grade 6 out of every one thousand who started schooling as per UNO/ESSP school survey 1993. More boys than girls survive through grade 6 whether from urban (340 and 210) or from rural area (270 and 150). As the cohort progresses beyond the primary, more girls than boys survive; boys leaving school earlier to enter into employment market. Table VI.2 presents the survival data by grade and rural-urban connection by reporting the number of children in each grade that have continue to be enrolled for each 1000 children entering grade 1.

Table VI.2. Survival of Cohorts through grades (1993)










Rural Boys








Rural Girls







Urban Boys







Urban Girls







Overall Boys







Overall Girls







A comparative data set has been extracted for National survival rates for 1999 is provided in Table VI.3. A comparison indicates that between 1993 and 1999 boy’s survival rates have improved from 290 to 440 per thousand, while girl’s survival rates have increased from 180 to 261 per thousand. These comparisons need to be interpreted cautiously as the methodology of data collection across the time period was different

Table VI.3. Survival of Cohorts through grades (1999)

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6








Survival with repetition







Survival without repetition














- Female








Survival with repetition







Survival without repetition














- Male








Survival with repetition







Survival without repetition














Source: EFA 2000 Technical Guidelines Cohort analysis

and the method of analysis for the 1993 data is unknown. However, there does appear to be quite significant changes in the cohort survival rates between 1993 and 1999. The Gender parity index for this indicator of 0.7.

The improvement in the survival rates may have been influenced by a number of factors. These include a lack of formal assessment to restrict progress. It was unclear from the data, just how schools make decisions to repeat students. (It should be noted that the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan has begun a project to facilitate measuring attainment through the defining of a range of desirable competencies). In addition, irregular attendance being tolerated facilitates absences for meeting "survival needs". Some reports have been received that many schools are only operating for as few as 2 hours per day, thus facilitating other out of school activities to be undertaken. These quality aspects need to be more fully investigated, however, the progress in survival rates may be illusionary.

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