Pictures from Shams Middle School, Jaghori, Ghazni, Afghanistan.
Three decades of conflict devastated Afghanistan’s education systems and institutions. In 2015, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education reported that “the annual number of secondary graduates [had] risen from about 10,000 in 2001 to more than 266,000 in 2013 and [was] estimated to reach 320,000 in 2015.” Tertiary enrollments increased dramatically as well.
Per the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) and the Afghan Central Statistics Organization, public university enrollments rose from 7,800 in 2001 to 174,425 in 2015. Prior to 2002, one million or fewer students, almost all of them boys, were believed to attend general schools compared to more than nine million children enrolled today. The expansion has included girls, who were almost completely prevented from attending school under the Taliban.
Today, an estimated 39 percent of students at general schools are female. These numbers show that more development is needed in this sector.
Shams Education Foundation was established in 2016. Its purpose is to help build schools in Afghanistan. Currently it is helping Shams Middle School, a primary to year 10 school that was founded by one of its members in 2003. Funds collected through donation boxes are spent in the daily maintenance of the school. The Foundation has goals of building more schools in Afghanistan.