Better opportunities through training

Training to become a machine fitter in Afghanistan

There are some 1.4 million young people in Afghanistan who are the right age for vocational training – but at the moment there are still too few training opportunities for them.

In 2016, only about 80,000 young people were able to get a place at one of the country's 294 vocational schools. Many vocational schools are poorly equipped; there are no standardised curricula or exams; and most teachers lack practical knowledge and skills that would be needed to train the pupils.

Moreover, the educational choices made by many children and youth in Afghanistan are determined mainly by their families' economic situation. Only some 15 per cent of all families can afford to send their children to school for 12 years. Families who cannot afford so much schooling for their children either send them to work (about 30 per cent) or send them to a business for a traditional, informal apprenticeship. In 2016, some 700,000 young people received informal training in this traditional way, learning a trade in small businesses, without any government support.

The BMZ supports Afghanistan's efforts to develop its vocational education system. Since 2015, these programmes have included some measures to gradually modernise the apprenticeship system in Afghanistan. Apprentices go to vocational school for three mornings per week. In the remaining time, they continue their training at the small business where they work. Vocational school gives them a chance to learn about things they cannot find out about at work: theoretical background knowledge for their trade and experience with modern technology

Some examples of results so far

  • Education facilities. New equipment has been provided for 50 vocational schools; two training centres for vocational teachers have been set up in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, with more than 1,300 students currently enrolled in the two institutions, of whom nearly 40 per cent are women.
  • New training courses. Training courses for six industrial/technical occupations have been developed and have been introduced at 35 vocational schools; one new course for a commercial occupation has been introduced at 16 commercial vocational schools. In 2016, a total of 27,463 students, of whom 5,359 (19.5 per cent) were female, took part in training at the vocational schools supported under the programme.
  • "Dual" training. 1,722 young people (11.4 per cent of them female) who are receiving informal training as apprentices in small businesses are now also taking theoretical classes at the Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif vocational schools, in addition to their practical training on the job.
  • Advanced vocational training. 238 craftsmen and -women from four different trades are currently receiving further training in those trades.
  • In-service teacher training. By August 2015, more than 13,720 teachers (18 per cent of them female) had taken part in in-service training on educational or subject-specific topics.
  • Work experience. From 2012 to 2016, a total of 31,706 young people (23.2 per cent of them girls) were able to do four-week work experience placements in one of 688 Afghan enterprises.
  • Training courses for administrative personnel. In 2016, workshops and conferences for 506 workers from school administration authorities helped improve the management of vocational schools.

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