UNESCO Afghanistan in 2010
19 January 2010 - UNESCO has been working closely with the Afghan Government and people since 2003.
As a technical agency of the United Nations, UNESCO works to promote peace and development and is championing the international community’s assistance on education, science, culture, communication and information in Afghanistan.
UNESCO works to battle the negative effects of insecurity and terrorism through the ongoing implementation of its programmes.
In 2010, UNESCO will continue its support to the education sector in Afghanistan, as one of its key priorities in the country.
The National Education Strategic Plan (NESP II 2010-2014), the National Higher Education Strategic Plan (NHESP 2010-2014), and the National Literacy Action Plan (NLAP 2010-2014), which were developed with the technical assistance of UNESCO in close collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, have paved the way for future coordinated and effective educational programmes.
To achieve the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UNESCO will continue focusing on three major programme areas: Technical assistance for reconstruction of the national education system to achieve the targets and goals set in NESP/NHESP; Capacity development for strategic planning including policy analysis, formulation, management, monitoring and evaluation of education system in both formal and non formal education; and advocacy to promote the right to education, inclusive friendly learning environments and gender equality in education.
The Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan programme (ELA) will expand its operations to 18 provinces of Afghanistan this year.
By the end of the 2010, approximately 200,000 men and women will receive the opportunity for literacy education.
The ELA programme is one of the major literacy programmes in Afghanistan – a country where one out of five men and four out of five women, cannot read and/or write.
Following the completion of a six months literacy training programme, three months of post literacy programme will follow, in which learners will learn how to utilize literacy skills practically in their daily life.
In addition potential learners will receive occupational skills development training to improve their quality of lives.
UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate in culture.
In 2010, UNESCO will continue to implement a programme in the culture sector that addresses the ongoing rehabilitation of the National Museum and museum sector, the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects and the management and conservation of World Heritage properties, national monuments and archaeological sites.
The Organization will also continue to promote the implementation of international legal instruments and Conventions for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage through further documentation and assistance with policy development to the Ministry for Information and Culture.
Afghanistan’s two World Heritage sites in Jam and Bamyan are symbolic of the historical cultural richness of Afghanistan and are also still included in the World Heritage List in Danger, highlighting the need for ongoing conservation and safeguarding measures.
In this context, in March 2010, Expert Working Groups to coordinate international assistance and prioritize activities for the preservation of both sites will be held in Munich, Germany.
UNESCO’s coordination role for international assistance in the culture sector will continue with preparations for another session of the International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage, scheduled for 2011.
Support to the transparent and free flow of information in society will be the milestone for UNESCO’s Communication and Information sector.
Along with the Afghan Government, Afghan journalists and Civil Society, UNESCO will celebrate the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May to highlight the important role of a free and pluralistic media in developing the foundations of a democratic society.
In another activity with UNESCO’s education section, a new phase of supporting the Educational Radio and Television (ERTV) of Afghanistan with the financial support of the Government of Italy will be launched early this year.
The twofold purpose of this project focuses on developing the capacity of the ERTV as a quality producer and broadcaster of educational context and to improve the distance learning with the close collaboration of the Teacher Education Department of Ministry of Education.
By Mohammad Amin Sadiqi, UNESCO