This post might, or might not, be the first of a series on economic development in Afghanistan seen as an education challenge and a source of opportunity for education entrepreneurs. There are opportunities to earn a living by providing training, information, and education to Afghans if one looks hard enough. I'll also say more about that in future posts.
Literacy rates in Afghanistan remain low in general, with women generally and men in rural areas having lower literacy rates.Yet, literacy is essential for a citizen of a modern state, and a high literacy rate is a necessity for prosperity. Workers need to be able to read and write for so many obvious reasons, that I won't bother to list them here. The school construction/reconstruction boom in Afghanistan is a promising development.
Education in Afghanistan is a barrier to economic development but is becoming less so. In 2012, there were 8.2 million students in Afghanistan, a country about a little over 26 million people, according to the country's Ministry of Education.
In 2012, there are 4000 schools under construction. School enrollment is lower for females and tends to be lower in rural areas. Still, about 40% of school children don't have classrooms.
The nation's low per capita income, and low GDP, can increase regardless of literacy rates, but clearly improvements in literacy will help the individuals and the country. Educated voters will tend to make better decisions. Literate voters will find it much easier to get reliable information on the nation's political and economic challenges, and it would be easier to learn about the candidates. That fully literate workers and entrepreneurs are better equipped for success is so obvious that no real explanation is needed. Educated citizens will be able to produce more and earn more.
Most discussion of education in Afghanistan focuses on children, or girls in particular. This might lead one to ignore the value of adult education in a country where most of the adult population is illiterate. Basic education in reading, writing, and math will equip adults to perform better on the job and to make better decisions when they can vote.
Should adult literacy education get more attention in Afghanistan's economic development planning? What is being done now? More on those two questions in the next couple of posts. My work schedule demands that I sign off at this point.
If you would like to read more about education and economic development in Afghanistan visit my Web channel and check out my other blog posts.