Afghanistan’s National Institute of Management & Administration boosts works prospects
The National Institute of Management and Administration (NIMA), established in 2009, has become one of the most attractive centers of youth education in Afghanistan.
Today, NIMA has an enrolment of approximately 1,000 students, including nearly 300 female students. NIMA, located in western Kabul City, was set up as part of the Afghanistan Skills Development Program (ASDP) under the Ministry of Education.
The fame and reputation of NIMA has gone beyond Kabul to attract students from other provinces. Abdullah, 21, from Wardak Province, is one such student. Two years ago, he left his family of seven members and moved to Kabul to attend NIMA.
“I chose NIMA because it is the only educational institution in Afghanistan with professional teachers, partnerships, and credentials,” he says. “Upon graduating, students receive two certificates from the institute: one from the Afghan Ministry of Education, and one from Ball State University of the United States.”
NIMA signed an agreement with Ball State University two years ago, according to Sajidullah Shirzai, NIMA’s General Director. Under the agreement, Ball State University assists NIMA in training instructors, building professional capacity of staff, and helping improve accreditation by providing a certificate to graduates of the institute.
“Studying at NIMA boosts our prospect of employment, of course, but it also helps the country as a whole, because we enter into the workforce well equipped to work for the development of Afghanistan,” said Mandina, a student at NIMA.
Students prepared for workforce
The institute has three major departments: accounting, computer and administration, and management. High school graduates can apply to the institute, and each applicant takes a standard entry exam for admission to study in one the three major fields. All courses are conducted in English.
Ahmadullah, 20, is about to finish his studies at NIMA. He is grateful for his education, saying that his friends studying at other educational institutions do not have the resources and opportunities that NIMA provides.
“I am quite sure that NIMA is different because it has the support of the Wold Bank,” he says.” I have witnessed it first hand during my two years of being a student here. I will graduate this year. Because of my studies at NIMA, I feel prepared to enter the workforce.”
Support provides access to resources and opportunities
“The World Bank and Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) supported us from the very beginning, and this support was extremely valuable and effective,” Shirzai says. “Without this assistance, NIMA would not have been able to get to where it is today.”
The World Bank and ARTF provided support to NIMA under ASDP, which aimed to build a high quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system. ASDP closed on June 30, 2014.
However, the World Bank continues to support Afghanistan’s TVET system through a follow-on project, the Afghanistan Second Skills Development Project. NIMA continues to receive support through this follow-on project, which focuses on providing incentives to schools and institutes offering formal TVET programs through a challenge fund scheme, while simultaneously strengthening the institutional system for TVET as a whole.
The core aims of the skills development project are to create jobs and employment opportunities for graduates of technical and vocational training schools and develop students’ practical skills. Funding support goes towards NIMA’s core costs, including those related to contracting, building costs, and salaries, particularly the salaries of foreign professional instructors. These instructors come from many countries such as the United States, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Apart from the standard education program, NIMA students have access to a well-equipped library with 5,000 titles in various languages and 60 computers with Internet access. “On a daily basis we receive about 100 visitors to our library,” a librarian says. “More than 50 students use our computer lab every day.”
Madina, 19, is a Kabul resident who says her studies at NIMA is a dream come true. “All institutions in Afghanistan need people like NIMA’s students, who have studied and trained in English,” she says. “Studying at NIMA boosts our prospect of employment, of course, but it also helps the country as a whole, because we enter into the workforce well equipped to work for the development of Afghanistan.”
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