Afghanistan’s society is extraordinarily complex with deeply embedded layers between tradition and contemporary needs. Education is a critical element in rebuilding shattered societies and restoring stability to areas affected by conflict. It can heal wounds of war, curb youth unemployment, build peace, promote economic and social development and deliver decentralization and democracy. However, despite its importance, the role of education in post conflict reconstruction is caught up with challenges and often remains overlooked by various factors.
For the purpose of this section we look at the continuation of the place of women within the society and the juxtaposition of the old ways and the new opportunities. Afghanistan is illustrative of the dilemmas of history and culture that feminists face in assessing the merits of national movements in terms of their gender dynamics and outcomes for women.
To improve the learning environment, speed up the school reconstruction, and create a sustainable medium for community participation in education, the School Management Committees (Shura) scheme was initiated in 2005 which is both a cultural and historical phenomena. As of March 2009, around 4000 School Management Committees had been established to manage School Grants that are aimed for improving schools facilities and other requirements. School Grants are projects that not only facilitate a partnership between schools and communities but also make schools more accountable and transparent.
While most of the Afghanistan schools were destroyed or heavily damaged during the violent conflict of 1978-2001, around four thousands schools were rehabilitated and newly constructed since 2003. To provide educational opportunities for older out of school children, an Accelerated Learning Program, was established in 2003, which assisted around two hundred children, mostly girls to complete grades one through three through accelerated programs and then join the public school system. This initiative is being continued in the form of community-based single-classroom, village based schools targeted at children in Afghanistan’s most remote areas.