In Afghanistan, the education follows a 6-3-3 race. It is
nine years of compulsory schooling. The school course has
six years of primary school, three years of secondary school
and three years of upper secondary school. Free education to
undergraduate level is enshrined in the Constitution. The
education system is the responsibility of the Ministry of
Education in Afghanistan.
education system in Afghanistan has been very adversely
affected by more than three decades of prolonged conflict
and civil war. Following the international intervention in
the fall of 2001 and the fall of the Taliban, building the
education system was central to the reconstruction of
Afghanistan and the peace process in the country.
Developments in the education sector after the war are
considered one of the country's biggest success stories.
This is particularly pointed out by the huge increase in
children enrolled in school since 2001, including girls.
The rate of illiteracy among the adult population is
among the highest in the world. 43 per cent of the
population are literate (UNESCO, 2018). That is 55.48
percent of men and 29.81 percent of women in Afghanistan. In
the age group 15-24 years, 65.42 per cent can read and
Large sections of the population are still without access
to education. This is especially true in rural areas and for
girls. This is mainly due to poverty and weak
infrastructure. In many parts of the country, a lack of
schools and inadequate transport are the main barriers to
education. Long school roads and geographical barriers,
especially in high mountain areas, make it difficult for
students to reach classrooms. An estimated 3.7 million
children are out of school in Afghanistan, 60 percent of
whom are girls (UNICEF). The low proportion of girls in
education can be explained, among other things, by the lack
of female teachers, especially in rural areas. Only 16
percent of Afghanistan's schools are girls' schools and
several lack adequate sanitation facilities, which impede
access. Another factor is that many girls in Afghanistan get
married very early, 17 percent before the age of 15. In
recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of
teachers, including about 31 per cent women. It is a
challenge that only 48 per cent of teachers have a minimum
of academic qualifications.
Afghanistan is one of the partner countries for Norwegian
aid. Education has been one of the most important areas of
focus for Norwegian aid to Afghanistan, and with a
particular focus on education for girls.
Organization of basic education
The primary school runs from 1st to 6th grade. Children
start school at the age of 6 and 8 years. The syllabus is
national. The primary school is divided into two cycles.
From 1st to 3rd level where the syllabus contains religion,
language, math and gym, from 4th to 6th level the same
subjects as above including natural sciences, history,
geography and foreign languages.
Since 2001, the number of children in primary school has
increased significantly from 0.9 million to 9.2 million.
This includes over 3.5 million girls, with virtually no
girls having access to education. Under the Taliban regime,
all teaching of girls and women was banned. The number of
schools in the country has increased from 3400 to 16,400.
Secondary school upper secondary education
The secondary school lasts for three years from 7th to
9th grade. Students can apply for higher education after
this. Then you have the opportunity to choose between
general study competence and vocational education. The
vocational subjects last from 2 to 5 years. According to
UNICEF, 38 percent are enrolled in secondary school.
Secondary education lasts for three years from 10th to
12th grade. According to UNESCO, almost 54 percent attend
high school. According to UNICEF, it is 28 percent.
The higher education sector includes both universities
and other higher education institutions. In 2012, there were
31 public higher education institutions, including 19
universities and 12 colleges in Afghanistan. The private
higher education sector has grown significantly in the
country since 2001. Exact numbers vary, but according to the
World Bank, in 2012 there were between 68 to 100 private
institutions. The enrollment in higher education has
increased sharply since 2001, especially from 2009 when the
first batch of students with primary and secondary education
after the end of the war applied for higher education. In
2018, 14 percent of men and 4.9 percent of women were
enrolled in higher education (UNESCO, 2018).
The majority of students are enrolled in public
universities. Public and private universities have about
300,000 students, including 100,000 women, according to the
Afghan Ministry of Higher Education.
Students apply for higher education based on a national
entrance exam. Private higher education institutions usually
do not have an admission test requirement.
At the bachelor level, students take a year of general
education before they specialize. The length of study
There are very few master's programs in Afghanistan. Most
are in teacher education and engineering, and most are
offered by private institutions. Some public universities
have started offering master's programs in collaboration
with international universities.
Doctoral programs are almost non-existent. Nangarhar
University, a public institution in Jalalabad, launched the
country's first doctorate program in 2014 and several are