06.05.2018 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Working together for better schools and security - accountability in education is important


Global Action Week For Education To Keep Up Promises


KABUL, 3 MAY 2018 | A one-week campaign to challenge ourselves to keep promises to education has just ended in Afghanistan.

The Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) is the brainchild of two civil society organizations, the Afghanistan National Education Coalition (ANEC) and the Movement for Support of Quality Education in Afghanistan (MSQEA), with the technical assistance of UNESCO.

Accountability for SDG4 through Citizen Participation

During the closing ceremony at the end of this week, which was held in the Government Media Information Center, more than 100 organizations from all 34 provinces of the country committed themselves to hold government accountable for decreasing the illiteracy rate, as targeted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: their plan is entitled “Accountability for SDG4 through Citizen Participation”. They were joined by government officials, including the Deputy Minister of Education, representatives from presidency, the Office of the Chief Executive, UNESCO and civil society. 

The challenges of security & infrastructure 

Speaking on behalf of the president, one of his advisers Mia Gul Wasiq (photo bottom right) expressed his concerns for about 6,000 schools where the students are learning under the sun without having any shelter.  He said 48% of all schools are affected by this, while around 1,000 school’s doors are closed for the learners because of insecurity. In total, around 3.5 million school aged children are still out of school. 

Civil Society representatives were also vocal in their criticism of the government for insecurity, low public awareness, low income of the teachers, and lack of instructional materials. They said ‘these weaknesses will not allow Afghanistan reach SDG4 before 2030.’ Responding, Mr Wasiq promised that in the next few years the government planned to open a vocational school in every district to connect the learners directly to labor market.

New resources, new hopes 

The participants were happy to hear from Deputy Ministry of Education for Literacy, dr Sarwar Mohammad Rahimi (photo top), that the Ministry of information and telecommunication plans to provide internet access to all schools around the country. 

Also, as part of commitments to improve education, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has ordered the Ministry of Rural Development to construct new school buildings, while the Ministry of Public Health has plans for school health programs.

International support is important

As the conference came to a close, dr Rahimi expressed his happiness with help of international partners, saying: ‘our educational institutions have been organized considering best international practices, which will meet the needs of Afghans’. Dr  Rahimi thanked all the organizations who work in the field of Education especially UNESCO, and encouraged other donors to keep up their support for the Afghan government reach SDG4 on education.

For more information about our literacy program and support for achieving SDG4 goals, please contact out Head of Education, Danny Padilla in Kabul: d.padilla(at) unesco.org

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