World TVET Database - Country Profiles


TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2012-08-06

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

Article 20 of the Law on Education sets out the objectives of TVET in Afghanistan, which are to:

  • Train human resources in technical-professional, vocational and artistic fields needed by the society and international market, taking into consideration national and international standards with special concern to the needs of women;
  • Develop and expand knowledge and skills through theoretical and practical training in the fields important for national development;
  • Provide special education for blind and disabled people in relevant fields;
  • Prepare students to be admitted to tertiary level institutions and universities.
TVET strategy

The Afghan Ministry of Education aims to address the serious challenges facing the education system including TVET and amongst others has set the following targets:

  • To increase access to TVET through the establishment of new institutions such as regional institutes from 16 to 32, provincial schools from 38 to 102 and district school to 364 during the years 2009-2014;
  • To increase the enrolment and training of TVET students from 19500 in 2009 to 150 000 in March 2014, increase female participation in TVET to 30% and to increase disabled participation in TVET to 1000 students;
  • To develop teachers’ capacities for delivering better services by (1) making sure that 40% of the TVET teachers pass competency based exams up to 2014; and (2) making sure that 80% of the TVET teachers are using active participation methodology.
  • To provide quality and market-aligned curriculum and training materials to the students; and
  • To equip schools with quality and market-aligned equipment.
TVET legislation

  • The Law on Education adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2008 outlines the general principles of education in Afghanistan. Article 5 of the Law stipulates that public technical and professional, vocational and artistic education is free of charge.
  • The National Skills Development Plan (NSPD) is a national priority programme signed by the president of Afghanistan in Berlin in 2004. The goal of NSPD is to contribute to the socio-economic recovery of the country through the development of a national TVET system that is responsive to the needs of the labour market and that provides the population of the country with skills and knowledge for decent employment.
NSPD consists of 2 components: (1) Funding of short-term vocational training for building the TVET system; (2) development of National Occupation Skills Standards (NOSS); (3) assisting in the development of a National Qualifications Framework (ANQF); and (4) building the capacity of trainers and training providers.


  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII ed. 2010/11. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.
  • Webpage of National Skills Development Programme. Accessed: 26 June 2012.
  • Webpage of the Ministry of Education. Accessed: 27 June 2012.

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    2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

Formal TVET system

According to a report on TVET issued by the Committee on Education and Skills Policy- CESP (2010) the provision of TVET is assured by the following establishments:

  • NGOs (comprising 30 000 students and assuring the provision of basic vocational skills);
  • Private sector (comprising 150 000 students and assuring the provision of vocational skills mainly in computer literacy, English, management and accounting); and
  • Public sector: the provision of TVET is assured by the following ministries: (1) The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MOLSAMD) oversees 20 training centres providing short-term courses for public sector employees; and (2) the Ministry of Education (MoE) coordinates and administers 140 public TVET High Schools and 70 public TVET Institutes while 40 private TVET Institutes are licensed and 120 others are in the process of being licensed. All of these institutions provide 2-year (Grade 13-14 = Associate Level Diploma), 3-Year (Grade 10-12 = Professional or Technical Baccalaureate) and 5-Year (Grade 10-14 = Professional or Technical Baccalaureate + Associate Level Diploma) programmes.
TVET Education comprises:

  • Agriculture, Livestock and Veterinary
  • Technical and Vocational
  • Business Education
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Fine and Arts
  • Special and Inclusive Education Sectors
The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) enrols 6 500 students in different academic institutions providing programmes in the fields of medicine, agriculture and economics.

Post-secondary education, grades 13 and 14, is provided by vocational education colleges, teacher training colleges and Islamic colleges (Dar-ul-Ulums). TVET offered in schools under the authority of the Ministry of Education is mainly for graduates of grade 9. Depending on the field of specialization and trainee’s entry level, programmes last from 2 to 5 years. Upon successful completion (end of grade 14) a diploma or an associate degree is awarded.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled provides short-term vocational skills training courses with the emphasis on practical work that usually last for less than 1 year.

TVET programmes in Afghanistan are offered in a range of disciplines such as carpentry, plumbing, motor mechanics, television repair, electricians, photography, computer studies, music, languages, etc.

Those students who perform better in TVET can be transferred to universities and the credits for the courses already completed are recognised. A reverse transfer is also possible, when students who have completed a university degree in the humanities and social sciences can pursue skills training of different durations at a TVET college.


  • CESP (2010). Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Afghanistan – an Overview. Kabul: Committee on Education Skills Policy.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    3. Governance and financing


The Ministry of Education (MoE) is the authority directly implementing most of the educational programmes, including but not limited to: policy formulation; formal schools; curriculum development; teacher education colleges; TVET schools; literacy courses; community-based education; training and capacity building of staff; and monitoring and evaluation. The MoE functions through 34 provincial departments and the central administration located in Kabul. The MoE is comprised of deputy ministries:

  • Deputy Ministry of Academic Affairs
  • Deputy Ministry of TVET
  • Deputy Ministry of Islamic Education
  • Deputy Ministry of Literacy
  • Deputy Ministry of Curriculum and Teacher Training Affairs.
The key departments of the ministry of education under various deputy ministries of MoE are Directorate General of General Education, Directorate General Planning and Evaluation, Directorate General of Admin and Finance, Directorate General of TVET School Affairs, the Academic Council, the Office of the Minister, and the Department for Internal Audit, and Inspection and the TVET Policy and Programs Development Department. With the adoption of the National Strategic Plan (NESP) 2010-2014, Programme Management Units (PMUs) were established. Their aim is to coordinate the implementation of the strategies stated out in the National Education Strategic Plan (NESP).

In 2008 an Education Development Board that included representatives from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education was established. The Board was later renamed to the Human Resource Development Board since it plays a direct role in human resource development. It ensures efficient coordination between the MoE and donor organizations and provides advice to the Ministry.

NGOs play a great role in the education system of Afghanistan. They are directly contracted by the donor organizations.

The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled provides vocational skills training through its 17 training centres, designs and implements programme curricula, prepares academic guidelines for training, assessment and evaluations, and issues certificates. The Ministry is also responsible for determining the capacity building, coordination and registration of NGOs working in the non-formal sector, and serves as liaison with main ministries with the aim of identifying capacity-building needs.

In order to improve the quality of curricula developed for educational courses, an autonomous National Institute for Curriculum Development was established in 2011. The Institute is responsible for the broad curriculum policies of all types of educational programmes including those for technical and vocational education.


Currently, a major portion of TVET funding comes from foreign governments through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), the World Bank and other bilateral donor agencies. The funding is mainly short-term since most donors are not prepared to invest on a long-term basis. Government has not established a functioning system for public TVET funding.


  • CESP (2010). Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Afghanistan – an Overview. Kabul: Committee on Education Skills Policy.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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4. TVET teachers and trainers

A Bachelors’ degree with 75% grade is required in order to become a TVET teacher. However, more than half of the total number of TVET teachers has a lower level of education. Although an education of grade 14 would be acceptable for teachers in the provinces (in the short-term perpective), it is a challenge to find teachers with even that level of education.


  • CESP (2010). Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Afghanistan – an Overview. Kabul: Committee on Education Skills Policy.

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    5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Secondary vocational education

Programme Duration Qualification
Grade 10-14 5 years Associate Level Diploma and Professional or Technical Baccalaureate
Grade 10-12 3 years Professional or Technical Baccalaureate
Grade 13-14 2 years Associate Level Diploma
National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The Afghan National Qualification Authority (ANQA) is a body responsible for the governance and management of the ANQF. It is an independent authority that is however accountable to the government. The main objectives of ANQA are to:

  • Establish and maintain ANQF for the development, recognition and award of qualifications, based on knowledge, skills and competence acquired by learners;
  • Establish and promote the maintenance and improvement of the standards of further education and training awards in Higher education, TVET, general education, Islamic education and Basic education; and
  • Promote and facilitate access, transfer and progression within the national education system.
The development of legal and operational frameworks of Afghan NQF is a part of the project funded by the World Bank called Afghanistan Skills Development Project (ASDP). A Dutch company, CINOP has also participated in the development of ANQF. By the end of 2011 the structure and operational procedure of the TVET board that monitors the part of the NQF dedicated to TVET had to be completed.

8 qualification levels based on learning outcomes have been developed:

  • Level 1: Basic level
  • Level 2: Literacy and Basic Vocational Training Certificate
  • Level 3: Intermediate Education certificate/ Grade 9
  • Level 4: Advanced Certificate, High School/Grade 12
  • Level 5: Tertiary Education Grade 14 Diploma
  • Level 6: Higher Education Bachelor Degree
  • Level 7: Higher Education Master Degree
  • Level 8: Higher Education Ph.D. Degree
Quality assurance

To assure quality and control issues the deputy ministry of TVET education has established independent Monitoring and Evaluation and Quality Control and Assurance Units under the direct supervision of the deputy minister of TVET responsible for quality assurance

Appropriate structures exist within the Ministry of Education, higher education and labour affairs to assure the quality issues.

The first ever Educational Joint Sector Review (EJSR) involving all agencies, partners and funders to review the achievements and quality issues took place on 26-27th June 2012.


  • Webpage of Committee on Education Skills Policy (CESP). Accessed: 26 June 2012.

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    6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

A 5-year project called Afghan Skills Development Project (ASDP) has been undertaken by the government of Afghanistan, essentially by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled. ASDP is financed by ARTF and the World Bank. The aim of the project is to increase the number of immediately employable graduates by building a high quality TVET system that is equitable, responsive to market needs and cost effective. It consists of the following components:

  • Component 1: The development of a regulatory and quality assurance framework;
  • Component 2: The improvement of the relevance, quality and efficiency of TVET;
  • Component 3: The development of skills programmes linked to the labour market with a focus on rural areas; and
  • Component 4: Research, monitoring and evaluation.
The Ministry of Education has developed a strategic plan consisting of different programmes. Programme 3 is dedicated to Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Its overall goal is to provide relevant and quality TVET for both males and females in order to enable them to meet the requirements of the national labour market and to contribute to the equitable and balanced development of the country. The objectives of the plan are to:

  • Increase enrolment of girls in TVET programs to 30% of total enrolment;
  • Increase enrolment of children with disabilities in TVET schools to 1,000 students;
  • Develop basic skills of teachers, male and female, to improve the quality of teaching in order to improve learning achievements of students;
  • Develop modern quality curriculum and learning materials to improve teaching and increase student learning achievements;
  • Equip the existing schools and TVET centres according to modern TVET standards; and
  • Enhance the capacity of TVET teaching and administrative staff.
In order to improve TVET teacher education a Teacher Training Department was established as a part of the TVET department in the Ministry of Education, which is a significant step towards enhancing the capacity of teachers.


Despite the fact that Afghanistan is investing a lot of effort to improve the TVET system, a number of challenges still remain. There is a lack of well-equipped learning spaces and facilities. Access to TVET programmes is rather low, especially for girls that face social constraints and the training offered is mostly irrelevant to them. The curriculum of TVET courses does not fully match the needs of the labour market but steps are being taken to align training and labour market needs. Other drawbacks of national TVET are the low qualifications of teachers, low salary levels and high pupil/teacher ratios. Shortage of qualified teachers is a big problem in the Afghan TVET system. Due to low salaries it is hard to recruit trainers with the necessary qualifications and professional experience.

Existing universities are not able to accept all graduates from secondary education and therefore creating accessible TVET paths is necessary in order to prevent graduates from remaining unemployed and becoming vulnerable to recruitment by extremists, criminal gangs and drug dealers.

Coordination of Ministries involved in Afghan TVET needs to be improved. Difficulties in communication within the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled lead to obstacles in the task of developing a coherent strategy for TVET system.


  • CESP (2010). Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Afghanistan an Overview. Kabul: Committee on Education Skills Policy.
  • Webpage of the Ministry of Education. Accessed: 27 June 2012.

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    7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)



Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+2.75 %

For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
13.30 14.30
female male  
15.20 16.20
female male  

48.19 %

48.41 %

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)













Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database

Employment (Million)

total female male


15.20 16.20
Labour Force
Labour Force Rate




Labour Force


2.00 (46.5%) 2.30 (53.5%)
Unemployment Rate






0.19 (52.6%) 0.17 (47.4%)

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on ILO: Key indicators of the labour market

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations


Further reading


  • ANQF - Afghan National Qualifications Framework
  • ARTF - Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund
  • ASDP - Afghanistan Skills Development Project
  • CESP - National Qualifications Authority
  • MoE - Ministry of Education
  • MOHE - Ministry of Higher Education
  • MOLSAMD - Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled
  • NESP - National Strategic Plan
  • NOSS - National Occupation Skills Standards
  • NQA - National Qualification Authority
  • NSPD - National Skills Development Plan
  • PMUs - Programme Management Units
  • TTCs - Teacher Training Colleges
  • TVET - Technical Vocational Education and Training
  • VTCs - Vocational Training Centres

    Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
    Publication Date: 2012-08-06
    Validated by: Mr Zekrullah Taibi;
    Policy and Programs Development Director and Senior Adviser of the Deputy Ministry of Technical Vocational Education and Training (DM-TVET);
    Ministry of Education-Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

page date 2017-05-05

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