1 minute read


Teaching Profession

According to the World Education Forum (WEF) the teaching profession was considered a low status occupation in Afghanistan society. An appalling fact of the Afghanistan wars was that thousands of teachers were assassinated and even more assaulted by the warring factions. Accordingly, teacher recruitment was extremely difficult, salaries were very low, and teachers were often not paid for their work. The number of Afghanistan teachers dropped 10.7 percent—from 30,502 in 1979 to 27,230 in 1999. Further, the percentage of female teachers dropped from 59.2 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 1999.

When UNESCO conducted its study of Afghanistan education, published documents pertaining to the qualifications of Afghanistan's teaching profession could not be located. However, UNESCO did collect its own data that indicated while a national system of teachers colleges existed prior to the Russian invasion, no formal teacher training programs were in existence by 2000. Under the defunct program, teachers received 2 years of preparation in addition to the 12 years of primary and secondary education in order to become academically qualified to teach. In effect, "academically qualified to teach" in the Afghanistan context equated to two years of postsecondary classes (college or university) in the U.S. context. In 1999 only 18.8 percent of Afghanistan's male teachers were academically qualified (according to Afghanistan standards) and only 13.8 percent of the female teachers were academically qualified.

UNESCO also found that only 28 percent of teachers had completed 12 years of schooling. Effectively, more than 50 percent of Afghanistan's teachers had not completed the U.S. equivalent of high school (postsecondary school). To fill the void in teacher training programs, humanitarian relief agencies were providing some training courses targeting teachers who had completed less than 12 years of schooling. Agency training courses, ranging from one day to one month, provided training in elementary school teaching methods.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceAfghanistan - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Administration, Finance, Educational Research - SECONDARY EDUCATION, HIGHER EDUCATION