• Russian invasion in 1979 basically destroyed education as many of the teachers fled the country.  The curriculum mainly consisted of religious education instead of math, science, literature, etc.
  • 1996 Taliban banned females from going to school
  • Mosque schools were the only schooling options for most
  • 2003 after overthrow of Taliban, 7000 schools were open and 4.2 million children were attending (1.2 million females included)
  • Lack of women teachers is a problem because some Afghan parents will not allow their daughters to be taught by men
  • Afghan schools do not get much funding and mainly get supported by outside donors, so their budget varies depending on what they get from their donors
  • Taliban has also been destroying girls’ schools which has recently become a major concern in 2009
  • Most people 15 years old and older cannot read or write
  • Several children cannot go to school because there aren’t enough teachers
  • 2 universities – Kabul University and University of Nangarhar in Jalalabad (university of medicine) (2002 there are 8 universities)
  • CBC’s Carol Off: “Some children bring their own chairs to school, if they have them. The school was almost destroyed by war. There’s no electricity. It’s colder inside than out. The cement floor is freezing.  But the students don’t mind. The young women and girls at this school are back in the classroom after five years of banishment by the Taliban.”
  • Girls go home in the afternoon and the boys come when they leave
  • Many girls and some boys are acid attacked, murdered, kidnapped or sexually assaulted while on their way to school by street boys.  Some girls’ fathers have decided not to let them go to school for fear that this may happen to them.
  • Taliban burn down schools and attack schoolgirls by throwing acid in their faces and kill some female students and teachers.

2 systems of schooling:

  • Religious education in mosques, taught by mullahs (male religious leader)
  • Secular which came in 1964, based on Western schools
  • 12 years of schooling was expected although many did not attend school because there were none around where they lived
  • Adult illiteracy rates in 2002 were 49% male and 79% female (highest rate in Asia)

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