For more women teachers in Afghanistan – Ministry of Education promoting equality in education
Over the past two days, 150 officials from the Ministry of Education, the Civil Service Commission and the Ministry of Women Affairs came together in a conference to discuss ways to improve gender equality in education. The conference looked at practices and initiatives that show both promise and success, with participants developing action plans for increasing the numbers of women teachers in Afghanistan. The general aim is to enroll and keep more girls in schools.
In the opening address of the conference, Dr. Asssadullah Mohaqqique, Deputy Minister for Curriculum, Development and Teacher Education, emphasized his commitment to motivating women to qualify as teachers and increase the number of girls in school in Afghanistan. He said, “Education is a must for women and men. A significant success of the last 12 years is that 5 million girls now go to school. 30% of our 220,000 teachers are women, and we encourage more women to train as teachers for their communities.” Mr. Ghulal Jailani Humayoon, Deputy Minister for General Education, added by saying, “We still face barriers today, especially in remote areas, where the ratio of men is higher than that of women. We are prepared to make any effort to rapidly increase the number of women teachers.”
On the first day of the conference, representatives from the Deputy Ministry for Curriculum, Development and Teacher Education met with members of the Departments for Islamic Education, General Education, Technical and Vocational Education, and Teacher Education and with specialists from the provincial level and NGO employees. They discussed initiatives that have shown success so far, ranging from scholarship programmes to community-based schools in remote areas that increase access to education for girls and also provide teaching positions for women.
The second day focused more on the challenges for education and on similarities and differences across departments in their approach. Greater coordination and cooperation between departments would help find solutions for increasing the number of female teachers. The Human Resources Directorate of the Ministry of Education and the Civil Service Commission also joined working groups to discuss hiring practices, perceived bottlenecks and how they can help.
The workshop was organized with the support of the Basic Education Program for Afghanistan (BEPA), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education of (MoE). The aim of the programme is to establish a good foundation for teacher training and promote gender equality in education.
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