Economics of Education in Afghanistan: Expanding Academic Programs Based on Market Demands Dictated by International Agency Funds Toward Self-Sustainability
From primary to tertiary education, economics and politics play critical roles in determining how institutions are structured, classrooms managed, and what curricula is offered. More than any other segment of education, however, technical and vocational institutions exemplify how economics in particular represent the driving force in determining the courses of study and degrees. In the case of Afghanistan, strong gender-biased cultural traditions, a lack of financial and human resources, and continued unrest within the country present unique challenges when considering how to train, retrain, and maintain a skilled workforce. Pressing needs for vocational careers such as agriculture, information communications technology, and construction present challenges for vocational institutions. What results from these workforce-training challenges is the need for these institutions to turn to the private sector and corporate businesses, which might include for-profit and nonprofit organizations and facilities beyond the current government system, for assistance with course development, the provision of instructors, and often times actual financial resources. However, in providing a short-term solution to long-term education and training issues, are technical and vocational institutions run by the Afghan government supporting educational progress or the best interests of organizations in the private sector? Alternatively, are private sector resources a critical part of Afghan technical/vocational institutions in their goal to provide relevant and meaningful skills for graduates to enter the workplace? This chapter will begin to explore these questions of the economics of vocational education in Afghanistan as influenced by private sector interests.
KeywordsAfghanistan Vocational education Workforce development Community colleges Higher education Sustainability in education Economics in education
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