Comparing the Education System in the United States and Afghanistan Instructor Institution Date Introduction The provision of education in the US is a function of the public sector with financing and coordination from the various levels of government…
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Education in Afghanistan on the other hand incorporates the system of elementary, primary and high school education. After high school education, Afghan students join an institution of higher learning most of which are under the Higher Education Ministry (Gross, 2008). Since very early times Afghanistan has had an organized education system but since the Taliban took power, education has changed in Afghanistan. Education in Afghanistan has also been affected and influenced by the 2002 ouster of the Taliban. Access to Education Before the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by the United States, access to education was very low in Afghanistan and it was mainly focused on religious education. Women and girls were completely denied an education by the Taliban government and illiteracy levels were very high among women. Since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, there have been great strides made in improving education in Afghanistan. Recent estimates put the number of learners at five point four million with girls comprising thirty five percent (Baker, 2008). Afghanistan currently boasts of an enrolment rate that is even higher than before the Taliban bans on secular education. Access to education is now provided to all Afghanis free of charge. The right to education is now enshrined in the Afghanistan up to a high school level and is free of charge. In the US, education is also a right that is enshrined in the constitution. Contrary to the Afghanistan situation the United States has always had universal access for everyone of school going age in public schools. America education system is compulsory for all learners below the age of eighteen. The US literacy rate stands at 99% with this figure being roughly equal for both men and women (Wadhwa, 2011). The United States just like Afghanistan employs the k12 system with elementary, primary and high school being compulsory and higher education being optional and privately funded and controlled. Approved home schooling programs are also allowed. Schooling in Afghanistan Since 2001 Since the toppling of the Taliban regime in 2001 and the setting up of the Karzai government a lot of changes have taken place with regard to education in Afghanistan. The schooling system is however facing many challenges in its quest for providing education to all Afghanis. The system is plagued by an influx of students who number approximately six million yet there are not enough teachers to teach. The problem is further compounded by the fact that the teachers available to teach are not sufficiently qualified. The ministry of education is also grappling with low standards since there is no standard curriculum which has been adopted officially by all the schools (Baker, 2008). There is a critical shortage of education infrastructure such as textbooks, and buildings in many parts of the country since most of the infrastructure was destroyed by the Taliban. One of the most pressing of concerns of the education ministry in Afghanistan is regarding security. The Taliban have been using a campaign of terror against government run education through bombing of schools particularly girl schools. The Taliban also threaten teachers and disrupt the distribution of learning materials all over the country. Funding of Education Education in Afghanistan is mainly funded by donors since the government has a critically underfunded budget. Institutions such as UNICEF and UNESCO have been in the forefront in the provision of funding and even material support towards
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