While education for children and youth has improved significantly during the last 10 years, large disparities in access exist between girls and boys, and between urban and rural or remote populations. School enrolment rates in rural areas in Kandahar province, for instance, are only 20% for boys and less than 10% for girls. Gender disparities in education increase at higher levels, with almost 50% of districts having no female students above grade nine.
Canada is continuing to help the Afghan Ministry of Education improve access to formal education for girls, train teachers, particularly women, and develop community-based oversight bodies such as school-management, parent-teacher, and student-teacher associations. Over the long term, these initiatives will improve access to formal education for all Afghan children and make the country’s education system more accountable to the Afghan people.
Canada will also respond to the immediate education needs of Afghan children by supporting local programs that provide community-based education, a system that has demonstrated notable results in reaching girls. Canadian support will continue to favour community-based programs that have a strong relationship with the Ministry of Education and with the formal education system. We will also continue to help improve the transparency and accountability of the Afghan national educational sector to help foster a safe learning environment.