Research Topic: Education of Afghanistan from the Past, Present and Future: Did NATO Actually Help in the Country’s Reformation of Education?
Summary of Literature and Findings: Afghanistan is a country that has been plagued with unfortunate obstacles in terms of political power and civilian uprisings (Facts On File News Services 2007, n.p.). An example would be when the Talibans were in power that caused the Afghans to tremendously suffer in a sense that basic rights such an education for all is not even given to everyone and is instead given to a select few (Manzo 2006, n.p.). Due to the continuous confrontations with the government and the Talibans, international organizations like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were forced to organize the government system and the execution of government power through proper implementation. The United States of America called the Organization for help post 9/11 as Afghanistan became America’s priority to be “assisted” (Walker 2007, p.173). Supposedly, with the help of the NATO, the current status in Afghanistan, in particular the education system has immensely improved (Manzo 2006, n.p.). However, findings and facts show otherwise as news and statistics from the country would depict that Afghanistan is still a country low in literacy rate and even if NATO did help in the increase in the education status of the country, the increase is still insignificant in terms of the expected outcome of such assistance (Qazi 2008, n.p.).
Central Research Question, Aims and Objectives: This research aims to answer the following questions regarding the education system and status in Afghanistan:
How can the education system in Afghanistan be described in terms of its effectiveness and efficiency? What is Afghanistan’s stand with regards to giving fair chance to all members of the society, trying to meet the demands of the population’s needs and desires while at the same time still keeping intact the cultural values that the country practices? What are the reasons behind the turmoil and confusion over the education system in Afghanistan? How far has the education system in Afghanistan evolved and developed pre-NATO assistance to the current time? What are the possible steps in solving or improving the current status of the education system in Afghanistan? Ethics and Risk Assessment: Afghanistan is one country which should be treaded on carefully and cautiously when discussed and researched since there are many subject matters which are of sensitive issue. The main concern though is in trying to locate materials that would help with the research since some materials would prove to be biased about certain organizations, countries and causes. Also, because of the fact that Afghanistan has certain cultural beliefs and practices, concluding or judging something to be wrong or right would prove to be a challenging as the background of the country needs to be considered while making it known that there are certain things that are unjustifiable by cultural beliefs such as the privilege to basic human rights.
Policy Implications: Education has been always one of the forefront issues that every country in the world seeks to address as education is usually deduced as something which can answer and solve other societal issues. The growth of the economy and the non-mediocrity of the skills and knowledge of a country’s people can be traced to how great and effective their education system is and this in turn can reflect the state of why Afghanistan is in such state and how Afghanistan can continue to grow. Through this research, Afghanistan’s history in terms of its education system (and other related aspects such as political conflicts, religious feuds, etc.) can be traced which can be used to provide a concrete example of the development of the country’s literacy and what the factors which caused significant, insignificant or even that of a hindrance to Afghanistan’s development. The results and findings of such research can be helpful to not just the people of the academe but also to the government organizations who seek to improve the country’s educational system and status.
"Afghanistan Policy." Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 5 Oct. 2007. Web (accessed May 4, 2010), <http://www.2facts.com/article/i1200550>.
Qazi, Abdullah. “Education”. 2008. Afghanistan Online. Web (accessed May 4, 2010), <http://www.afghan-web.com/education/>.
Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy. 2006. "Afghan Education Shows Progress Amid the Rubble." Education Week 25, no. 32: 10. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed May 4, 2010).
Walker, Joshua W. 2007. “NATO's litmus test: prioritizing Afghanistan.” Journal of Transatlantic Studies, no. 5: 2. Academic Search Complete. EBSCOhost (accessed May 4, 2010). pp.169-178.