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Teach Afghanistan

Education plays a vital role in achieving the SDGs. In order to help access to quality education, we will adopt a three-tier solution. Firstly, we will conduct a systematic study of the higher education in Afghanistan with the aim of formulating recommendations for improvement. Secondly, we intend to increase access to higher education by providing quality affordable programs in our faculties. Thirdly, we will offer specialized educational programs on the SDGs.

a. Analysis and Improvement of Higher Education

SDSN Afghanistan will 1) Assist interested universities to conduct an assessment of their academic programs in terms of SDGs programs, 2) conduct trainings for university lecturers, 3) inspire the use of technology in the higher education system, 4) encourage increased student exchange programs within universities, 5) establish a digital library and 6) promote professional dimension of knowledge. The purpose is to improve employment, entrepreneurship, and help Afghans get decent jobs.

The proposed annual program review will be conducted to align academic programs at the universities with the market demand, to integrate knowledge on SDGs into the university curriculum, and to promote innovations in teaching and learning methodologies to increase efficiency in higher education.

A practical step is the provision of training and capacity building to university lecturers in order to ensure sustainability within the higher education institutions. In close collaboration with the member universities and their technical personnel, SDSN Afghanistan will mobilize resources and develop training programs on instruction methodologies and provide opportunities to lecturers to continue their formal education locally and internationally.

Higher education in Afghanistan needs to keep pace with the changing world by integrating technology in learning. Adoption of advanced methods like learning management systems and E-learning can change the dynamics of higher education in the country. SDSN Afghanistan will introduce its partner universities currently using these systems as good examples to inspire others to learn and adapt. The American University of Afghanistan, Kateb University and Kardan University are the leading universities in this regard. SDSN Afghanistan can partner with these universities and inspire others to adopt such efficient strategies.

An important step is to encourage exchange programs in the forms of student, faculty and staff exchange with universities in the region and globally. SDSN global partners can help build these connections. We believe that with the right network developed by SDSN Afghanistan, universities in the country will organically expand their exchange program efforts. The experience earned through this effort can help highly motivated individuals to bring home knowledge, experience and innovative ideas.

Establishment of a digital library in Afghanistan can provide access to knowledge beyond ordinary reaches. To do this, we can approach SDSN Networks across the globe to share their study materials with the world’s most deprived academia. It is noteworthy that Kateb University is already willing to invest in this idea.

b. Access to Higher Education

Tens of thousands of students are left out of universities every year in Afghanistan. The reason is obvious: National universities do not have the capacity to admit them all. The university entrance exam leaves behind more than 50,000 students out of universities. Private universities in the country have the capacity for only 7,000 of them. In order to address this issue, we have drafted a practical plan. Firstly, we need strong policy advocacy for more students in university classes where quality teaching is provided. Secondly, other pathways to education including E-learning must be recognized with officially approved degree certificates. Finally, an academic council needs to be established that provides needs-based local and international scholarships to members of community who are most in need.

c. Education in SDGs

Currently, no university in the country is offering a degree in Sustainable Development. Establishing a formal degree in sustainable development studies for bachelors, masters and Ph.D. levels would set Afghanistan on a better course towards achieving Agenda 2030. The degrees would be interdisciplinary and customized versions focusing on problems of Afghanistan. Another option is to join the MDP (Master of Development Practice), an interdisciplinary graduate degree program that prepares students to better identify and address the challenges of sustainable development.

(See http://mdpglobal.org/global-mdp-program/)

Finally, as part of our efforts to educate Afghanistan on the SDGs, we intend to create executive education programs on A-SDGs targeted at government officials and other public and private sector contributors. For this, the SDG Academy learning materials will be customized based on Afghan national needs, language, and context. 

Awareness and Engagement

A key challenge hindering the achievement of the SDGs in Afghanistan is the lack of institutional awareness about Agenda 2030. In order to maximize awareness across educational organizations, research institutes and civil society, we propose the publication of a quarterly policy research journal to update the public on the SDG developments in the country.

SDSN Afghanistan will create guides for different sectors to support and direct their actions towards achieving the SDGs. We will start by reviewing and refining previously developed guides. SDSN Afghanistan will create a platform for sectoral and cross-sectoral dialogues that will inform them of their roles and attract their commitment to contribute to A-SDGs. As part of this dialogue, we aim to conduct A-SDGs Solutions Forum, a conference on the Role of Universities in Achieving the SDGs, and a regional forum. These events will be held annually with the aim of providing technical support through engagement – to explore best practices, lessons learnt, platforms for experience sharing and future actions.

Community awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals is extremely low. To address this, we aim to launch a nationwide media campaign targeted at Afghans of all walks of life. The content for the campaign will be taken from the SDG metadata repertoire which will be translated into local languages. The campaign will cover all owned, paid and earned media as well as the community-based workshops and seminars. Such media campaigns are aimed at raising the general awareness of people on SDGs, promote a culture of sustainable lifestyle within communities, and encourage people to play their part in achieving A-SDGs. Some rural communities in Afghanistan have switched from fuel energy to solar energy for their electricity production. The proposed media campaigns will, among others, celebrate and use such good cases to encourage other communities to adopt sustainable lifestyles.




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  DARUL-AMAN ROAD, KABUL AFGHANISTAN