6 Achieve universal primary education

Where are we?

MDG 2: Education
UNDP Afghanistan : Half of school age children have never been inside a classroom in Afghanistan.

Achievements in education have been one of the main highlights Afghanistan’s successes post-2001. The sector has enjoyed unprecedented level of progress; 8.6 millions of children and youth are attending schools (over 5.29 million boys, and over 3.35 million girls), whilst hundreds of thousands attend universities, and similarly tens of thousands who for any reason were deprived from regular education are accessing literacy classes and vocational training. While gender gaps and disparity still persist, however, it has significantly improved over the years.

Net enrollment ratio in primary education has seen steady improvement over the years with the data available for 2012 indicate the net enrollment ratio 77% and progress toward the 82% target set for 2015 is on track. Similarly, gross enrollment ratios in primary education have improved and progress is on track which is reflective of the improved absorption capacity (since 2002 to 2012) within the education system and the rate of attendance. Though, ratio of proportion of pupils starting grade one who reaches the last grade of primary education for 2012, 64%, is relatively lower and the target for 2015, 76%, is difficult to achieve. Moreover, primary completion rate is also improving and the target of 80 percentage ratio completion rate for 2020 is achievable. Literacy rate has also improved; the target of 50% for 2015 is likewise achievable.

UNDP's work in Afghanistan

  • UNDP Afghanistan: Laila (second from left), packing the spaghettis produced at the centre.

    Women Learn Small Business Skills, Look To Future with Hope

    Aliabad, Mazar-e-Sharif: Five days in a week, Laila, a single mom of five children including an 18-year-old daughter, walks to the Food Processing Center in Aliabad villagemore

  • UNDP Afghanistan: The civic educator explains the details of the voter registration process.

    Portrait of a Young Man as a Civic Educator

    Mazar-e-Sharif: A class of 130 female students at the Mawlana Institute of Health Sciences in downtown Mazar, listen in rapt attention as Abdullah Ahmadi (name changed),more

  • UNDP Afghanistan / GEP / Anusha Ahmadi: Sima Gul, 38, who takes responsibility off her sick husband's shoulders through making and selling small pieces of jewelry.

    Jewelry Making Brings Hope to Impoverished Women in Herat

    A UNDP programme trains women in jewelry making so that they can provide their families with incomes and escape abusive situations Every day Sediqa, 26, walksmore


Targets for MDG2
  1. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
    • Net enrolment ratio in primary education
    • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary
    • Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men