Afghanistan: Educational Radio and Television joins the fight to combat rural illiteracy

© UNESCO/A. Cairola
Support to the renovation of headquarters of National Radio and Television Afghanistan

“When the Taliban’s regime collapsed, we had nothing. Our building was a ruin and some remaining staff were working in Radio and Television of Afghanistan (RTA) or in the Ministry of Education building. Now we have our own regular radio and television production”.

- Mr. Zeer Safiullah, the ERTV Director.

The Educational Radio and Television of Afghanistan (ERTV) reconstruction project is bringing access to education within reach of the remotest parts of the country and to vulnerable groups that do not have access to formal schooling. 

Afghanistan’s education authorities face the challenge of addressing the 74 per cent of the population who live in remote and rural areas, where up to 90 per cent of women and 63 per cent of men remain illiterate and almost half of school-age children are out-of-school.

The government has turned to distance education as a key vehicle to combat illiteracy and bring access to information to remote and mountainous regions throughout Afghanistan, where millions face grave difficulties in accessing formal education.  

Generously funded from its inception in 2004 by the Italian government, UNESCO’s ERTV project has revitalized the technical capability, rehabilitated the infrastructure, and refurbished the studio equipment of Afghanistan’s only educational television and radio broadcaster.  

UNESCO’s role has been to provide technical expertise and advice to ERTV as well as to the Ministry of Education, while also training a new generation of Afghan broadcasters and teachers to supply educational programming and material of high standard.  

Since early 2007, the project has increased its focus on the production of quality radio and television programming, using distance education components. UNESCO also provided Multimedia Mobile Units to train teachers in remote provinces and to incorporate audio-visual support to teacher training in Afghanistan.

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