One of the most important areas to help Afghanistan to rebuild is the need for Malaysia and other Islamic countries to focus on strengthening and enhancing Afghanistan’s education and human resource development (HRD) capacity.
We are of the view that HRD agencies in Afghanistan need to be helped to expose them to human resource development plans ranging from basic education to higher education.
In addition to providing opportunities for Afghan students to study in Malaysia, approaches to strengthening existing human resource development institutions in the public and private sectors in Afghanistan need to be pursued.
This approach can be shared by Malaysia starting with the private sector and the non -government informal sector. Malaysia should extend collaboration with Afghanistan to draw up a long -term plan in this regard.
Focusing on human resource development will have a long -term impact on developing Afghanistan. Afghanistan desperately needs “hardware” and “software” help for various sectors. Human resources are the most important capital if sustainable aid is to be given to Afghanistan.
We are of the view that the education sector is very critical. Afghanistan already has several local universities. So far there are 63 institutions of higher learning with 437 fields of study. In fact there are 9 doctoral programs in 4 Universities.
High Education institutions in Malaysia can establish relations with Afghanistan to establish twinning studies cooperation and exchange programs of academics and students between the two countries.
Among the major Universities in Afghanistan are Kabul University, American University of Afghanistan, Balkh University, Herat University, Nangarhar University Shaikh Zayed University Kandahar University.
Many partnerships with Malaysia can be held to improve the quality of education of 10 million students and 220,000 teachers across Afghanistan now.
Afghanistan has a problem of having more students while there is a shortage of well -qualified teachers that is 80% of teachers (165,000 teachers) do not pass the level of secondary school education.
Afghanistan is the country worst affected in terms of education by the war. Violence involving attacks on schools was 770 incidents in 2008. Meanwhile, 5 million children could not go to school due to the war in 2010.
NGOs in Malaysia should also come forward to help the future of Afghan children who are still facing unstable security. Between 2006-9, 439 teachers, education staff and students were killed, the highest rate in the world.
In 2007, half of Afghanistan’s population was under the age of 18. UNICEF estimates a quarter of Afghan children between the ages of 7 and 14 work. In rural areas the situation is worse, more girls are of working than boys. This means were out of school or unable to finish school.
Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid
President of MAPIM
Convenor Malaysia Afghanistan Rehabilitation Working Group.