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Technical Vocational And Engineering Education In Afghanistan

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Impacts of Public Policy on Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1183.1 - 13.1183.15



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Paper Authors

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Zarjon Baha Purdue University

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Bahawodin Baha University of Brighton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Technical Vocational and Engineering Education in Afghanistan


Technical vocational and engineering education in Afghanistan has a long history but because of the instabilities in the country, this sector like many other sectors, has experienced catastrophic destruction. This paper discusses the history, present conditions, and the progress of Engineering and Technical Vocational Educational (TVE) institutions in Afghanistan. It has been recognised that the establishment of Engineering and TVE institutions is vital for the reconstruction and future development in the country. Therefore, recommendations are made as to how TVE and Engineering education in Afghanistan may be re-established to meet international standards and to address local needs.

1. Introduction

Afghanistan was a stable country during the period of the early 1930’s to the late 1970’s and had a relatively established educational system in the country. Although education was compulsory in the country at the primary level where such facilities were available, the literacy rate was still very low. The country was progressing well towards democracy and the people in general were realizing the importance of education for attaining individual achievements and development of the country. Education through high school was becoming more common throughout the country.

Several institutions of Technical Vocational Education (TVE) were established in Kabul and other provinces. Due to the lack of technical facilities in the country, the development of Technical Vocational Education was slow compared to the general education of first through twelfth grades. Most of the TVE institutions, especially the successful ones, were established with the help of other countries such as the USA, the USSR, Germany, the United Kingdom, and others. Technical Education in Afghanistan was initiated at the university level with the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture and Engineering in 1956, with the help of the USAID, and with the establishment of Kabul Polytechnic in 1968, with the help of the USSR.

During the Communist regime, 1978 to 1992, the educational system was downgraded systematically, and many male students above the age of fifteen were either conscripted to the military or forced to leave the country to avoid military drafting. Many of the faculty members and other intellectuals, who were found to be unsympathetic to the new Communist government, were imprisoned, killed, or left the country to avoid persecution.

After the withdrawal of soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of the Communist government in 1992, a more chaotic situation, and civil war conditions prevailed in the country. The buildings and other facilities of the higher educational institutions, including TVE, that were until this time under government control were severely damaged or totally destroyed in all major cities. Laboratory equipment, furniture, and libraries were looted and in some cases burned to ashes.

Baha, Z., & Baha, B. (2008, June), Technical Vocational And Engineering Education In Afghanistan Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3635

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