Access to education has witnessed a degree of improvement in recent years. While the number of primary school students has jumped from just over one million in 2002, to over 9.6 million to date, an estimated 3.5 million children remain out-of-school. Further, the majority of returnee children who attended secondary school in Iran and Pakistan before returning to Afghanistan in 2016 and 2017 remain out of school due to various barriers, including among others, socio-economic vulnerability and poverty, lack of absorption capacity, documentation, curriculum and language. The Government’s national priority programmes for the sector are linked to the National Education Strategic Plan (2017 – 2021).
The UN contributions in this sector are guided by the pillar outcomes of the NESP III. That is, the delivery of quality and relevance of education; equitable access to education; efficient and transparent management of quality education services; and the empowerment and equipment of adolescents, youth and women with increased skilled-based, occupational literacy and life skills knowledge. This engagement is intended to contribute to the common goal of the NESP III, to prepare skilled and competent citizens through the education system to sustain Afghanistan’s socio-economic development and social cohesion.