Certifying Teachers in Afghanistan

Following decades of conflict and tumult, almost half of Afghanistan's children are still not attending schools. Despite an increase of teachers since 2001, 58% of Afghan teachers do not have the minimum required qualifications. The country lacks common and appropriate standards for certifying teachers and accrediting teacher training institutions. Consequently, the quality of education in Afghanistan is poor.

What We're Doing: 

The Teacher Certification and Accreditation of Teacher Training Institutions in Afghanistan Project (TCAP) is a five year (2011 – 2016) education development initiative implemented by WUSC in partnership with the Teacher Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan.

The project aims to improve the quality and equity of basic education in Afghanistan by strengthening the systems and structures responsible for training teachers, specifically:

  • The accreditation of teacher education institutions in Afghanistan
  • The certification of teachers
  • The curriculum and pedagogy of pre-service and in-service teacher education
  • Overall capacity development within the Ministry’s Teacher Education Directorate and three model Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs)
What We're Learning: 
  • Improving education goes hand-in-hand with gender equality. Raising awareness about gender issues and building the capacity of partners to improve gender equality at their organizations are integrated into all TCAP activities.
  • It’s important to work in a participatory manner with local government and other Afghan organizations to build their capacity and put them at the centre of all decisions. WUSC has fostered strong and productive relationships with the individuals and departments who will be responsible for the long-term implementation of the policies developed during the project.
  • Effecting sector-wide change requires coordination with other projects and organizations. WUSC is leading coordinating efforts in Afghanistan of the projects working in teacher training to help coordinate the various sector initiatives.

Three decades of war, socio-economic and political conflict, and repression devastated Afghanistan’s educational system, which was already at a low level. During this time, an estimated 80% of trained teachers and university professors either fled the country or took other jobs.

Key educational challenges include:

  • Approximately 42% or 5 million school-aged children and youth do not have access to education;
  • 11 million adults are considered illiterate;
  • Only 55% of schools have usable buildings;
  • Access to education for girls and women remains limited by cultural and security concerns.

A massive skills deficit cuts across all institutions in Afghanistan, including nearly all departments, offices and schools of the Ministry of Education (MOE). There is an urgent need for civil service reform.

Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made, with enrolment in grades 1-12 up to almost 7 million children from less than 1 million in 2001, with girls accounting for 37% of enrolment.  Thousands of teachers have been trained to help keep up with this demand for education. There are now 42 Teacher Training Colleges, up from only four in 2002, instructing over 56,000 teachers, 40% of whom are female.  Afghan authorities admit, however, that it is crucial to improve the quality of education.

The challenge of unqualified teachers is linked to the low standards of teacher training institutes.  The establishment of national standards and the accreditation of teacher training institutes are ways to ensure new teachers emerging from institutions meet the quality standards for education set by the Government of Afghanistan.  The accreditation also encourages teachers to update and improve their skills and classroom performance throughout their career.


Thank you to our donors.

The Teacher Certification and Accreditation of Teacher Training Institutions Project is funded by the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).




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