Assistant Director-General addresses major Afghan education conference and meets key officials in Kabul
The first-ever meeting of representatives of all education stakeholders in Afghanistan – the 2012 Education Joint Sector Review Conference – took place on 26 and 27 June. Mr Qian Tang, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, addressed the meeting, which included government, bilateral partners and non-governmental and international organizations.
Mr Tang praised the Government of Afghanistan for its remarkable achievements in increasing access to education since 2001. He commended recent actions aimed at strengthening higher education and skills development for the world of work, underlining the need to particular attention to out-of-school children and adolescents. He called on the government to step up efforts in favour of literacy and the recruitment of women teachers – which should set the stage for the achievement of gender parity throughout the education system.
While in Kabul, Mr Tang also met with the Minister of Labour, the Deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs and the Deputy Ministers of Literacy and Higher Education, as well as with United Nations partners. He reaffirmed UNESCO’s commitment to strengthening its cooperation with Afghanistan on improving service delivery in the education sector, particularly in order to improve access rates among girls and women to quality literacy and post-primary programmes.
In addition to providing technical advice on the full range of education sub-sectors out of its Kabul Office, UNESCO implements large-scale literacy programmes for civilians and police officers in Afghanistan, with Japanese funding.