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Education and politics in Afghanistan: the importance of an education system in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Journal of Peace Education (2005)
  • Jeaniene Spink, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Afghanistan has a long history of social unrest and ethnic conflict, and the manipulation of the education system by internal and external powers for political purposes has been one of the major contributors to these divisions. As Afghanistan attempts to build peace and maintain co‐existence after more than 20 years of violence, there continues to be limited attention given to one of the main contributors to the social divisions. More than four million children returned to school in the first two years of ‘peace’ in Afghanistan. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by the United Nations and other international donors on ensuring the physical provision of schools for children. However in 2005, three years into ‘the new era for Afghanistan’, teachers continue to teach ethnic hatred and intolerance. The textbooks continue to be highly politicised, promoting social divisions and violence, seemingly unnoticed by the International Community, whose expensive investments fuel rather than restrain this problem. A new curriculum for Afghanistan together with upgraded teacher capacities are the most pertinent factors to ensure that peace is established and maintained in the country. This will ensure that the new generation of Afghans learns a sense of social responsibility and national pride, incorporating ideas of unity in diversity and not an intolerance of perceived ‘difference’ based on militant ideologies.
  • Textbooks,
  • Ideology,
  • Foreign countries,
  • Social responsibility,
  • Educational policy,
  • Conflict,
  • Ethnic groups,
  • Political influences,
  • Peace,
  • Financial support,
  • International organizations,
  • Violence,
  • Curriculum,
  • Teacher education,
  • Educational change,
  • Social change
Publication Date
September, 2005
Citation Information
Jeaniene Spink. "Education and politics in Afghanistan: the importance of an education system in peacebuilding and reconstruction" Journal of Peace Education Vol. 2 Iss. 2 (2005) p. 195 - 207 ISSN: 1740-0201 (Print), 1740-021X (Online)
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