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Afghanistan: Education

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of children in (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) tertiary education in Afghanistan in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (166062)

The UK Government use data on education from surveys and analysis carried out by the Government of Afghanistan and international agencies. Because data quality on Afghanistan is so poor, it is not possible to provide a breakdown of each year since 2001.

According to the latest analysis by the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, 5.4 million children are in primary and secondary education in 2007, a third of these girls. Attendance is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas. This compares with an estimated 1 million children in primary and secondary school in 2001, of whom very few were girls, as they were officially denied access to education under the Taliban.

There are currently 52,000 students in tertiary education in 2007. Current demand for higher education is four times the available supply of places and will only be met with large increases in the number of lecturers.