Rather than as a key tool of nation-building, post-2001 politicians seem to have mainly viewed the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) as a huge reservoir of patronage. Its status as the ministry with the largest payroll in the country contributed to stimulate the appetite of politicians.
Number of MoE employees
Source: Central Statistics Office
In the presidential election of 2004, one of the candidates tried to use the teachers to campaign on his behalf, with some success given that he had recruited many of them, particularly the people running the school administrations, during his tenure as minister. The former mujaheddin brought in by him developed into a lobby, often boycotting heads of education in the provinces that were not to their taste. Although the plans to quickly expand the ministry implied the hiring of many under-qualified teachers, even headmasters often only had primary education, a fact that made them dependent on political patronage to maintain their positions, but certainly did not contribute to the effective delivery of education.
In 2003, the minister of education had actively if unsuccessfully lobbied to have his picture printed in each textbook, despite the fact that this would have delayed their printing and distribution. At the provincial level too, local factions and groups often prized the education departments as a source of patronage. A source, for example, alleged that a particular faction captured the education department of Samangan province, and then proceeded to concentrate the limited scope for patronage and favors to a particular district, leaving the others completely neglected.
- Scholarship students will be sent only to third countries to ease rupee outflow (thebhutanese.bt)
- Opposition to state education in Afghanistan after 2001 (ehsanblogs.wordpress.com)
- All-white bench is a problem (theglobeandmail.com)
- Opposition to state education in Afghanistan after 2001 – part 2 (ehsanblogs.wordpress.com)
- Why Isn’t “Nation-Building” an American Domestic Policy, Rather Than Only a Foreign One? (applewoody.wordpress.com)
- Politics in Malaysia: Business first, service last (hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com)