Education System in Afghanistan


 EducationSchool/LevelGradesAgeYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary School7–136 
MiddleMaktabeh Motevaseteh7–913–163 
SecondaryDoreyeh Aali10–1216–193 
VocationalVocational in Lower & Upper Middle School7–1313–196 
VocationalTechnicums9–1414–203–5Graduates of these institutions are recognized as holding qualifications equivalent to those of post-secondary education.
TertiaryBachelor's Degree University level first stage4 
TertiaryMaster's Degree16–182 
TertiaryDoctorate3 

Primary Education

Two education systems exist in parallel in Afghanistan. Religious education is the responsibility of clerics at mosques, while the government provides free academic education at state schools. From age 7 to age 13 pupils attend primary schools where they learn the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic and their national culture.

Middle Education

Three years of middle school follow where academic-style education continues. Students must pass an examination at the end of this phase if they wish to study further.

Secondary Education

At secondary school students have a choice between continuing with an academic path for 3 years that could perhaps lead on to university, or study subjects such as applied agriculture, aeronautics, arts, commerce and teacher training instead. Both programs culminate in a bacculuria examination.

Vocational Education

Afghanistan continues to attempt to surface from a civil war and an ultra-orthodox regime. The rights of women and a broader curriculum are both gradually being reinstated, as the nation shrugs off its past and attempts to kick-start its economy.

Tertiary Education

Afghanistan EducationEfforts are underway to recover the situation at Afghanistan’s 6 universities and to repair damage caused by civil conflict. Some progress is being made with female admissions too, although it may take many years for tertiary education to become academically independent.

 The oldest of these institutions are the Kabul Medical University established in 1923, and Kabul University founded in 1931. The latter is pictured here as students write examinations sitting on chairs outside.


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