Everyone has the right to education

United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that; “Everyone has the right to education…”. This right, however is not extended to all segments of the population in Afghanistan, especially parts of the country ravaged by conflicts, strives and poverty.

Ponder the following:

According to UNICEF, an estimated 3.7 million children are out of school in Afghanistan, 60% of them are girls. Only 16% of Afghanistan’s schools are girls-only schools.

According to UNESCO, Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, currently estimated at about 36%.

Female literacy rate is on average about 17%. The highest female literacy rate is about 35% in the capital, Kabul, while the female literacy rate in some of southern provinces of the country is as low as 1.6%.

Male literacy rate averages about 45%, again with high variation. The highest male literacy rate is in Kabul, at 68%, while the lowest is found in Helmand province, at 41%.

Afghanistan has a very young population. 47.5 percent of the population of 35.5 million people is under 15 years of age and the school age group 7-18 is estimated at 33.7 percent.

Nearly half of the children in Afghanistan do not go to school.

Only half of the schools are housed in buildings.

1,000 schools remain inactive or closed due to deteriorating security situation.

A girl’s education is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity. UNICEF

“When children are not in school, they are at an increased danger of abuse, exploitation and recruitment”

Adele Khodr, UNICEF

Literacy rate in Afghanistan is 36%.