In 2001, one million children--almost none of them girls-- were enrolled in 3,400 schools. In 2015, there was a nine-fold increase in enrolment with more than eight million students in 16,400 schools, of whom almost 40 percent were girls.
While it's encouraging to see progress in access to education, the quality and safety of the school facilities are not as reassuring
If an earthquake were to hit Afghanistan on a school day, 5 million students would be affected.
In the past, addressing infrastructure resilience has been a challenge since information regarding current and future disaster and climate risk has been extremely limited and fragmented.
Compounded by decades of conflict, this has undermined Afghanistan's ability to cope and effectively respond to natural disasters.
Between 2015-2030, the plan aims to reach 100 percent enrolment by building 20,000 new schools. The World Bank and other development partners are supporting this effort through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) by incorporating risks in current and future national and Bank investments. Key facts – needs, challenges and lessons learned
There is an estimated shortage of 20,000 new schools (2015-2030) that require construction to meet expected demand:
- . Nearly 90 percent of existing schools were built by the community using unskilled labor and inexperienced construction management
- School site selection is often carried out without appropriate site surveys, which leads to schools being constructed on the least valuable and most exposed land
- The quality of construction is one of the main problems: building designs are often not well communicated from technical experts to construction contractors and don’t appear to be well implemented on-site
- Similarly, safety issues pose significant limitations to conduct a proper inventory and inspection of school infrastructure as well as implement training and engineers
The World Bank and other development partners are proactively supporting the Government of Afghanistan in addressing these challenges. In 2017, a national multi-hazard risk assessment and risk profiles were completed. These tools are the first of its kind in a fragile state and have already contributed to raising awareness on current and future disaster risk in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, with support from the Global Program for Safer Schools (GPSS) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and in close collaboration with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and the Ministry of Education, the World Bank is now conducting a disaster risk analysis for the education sector, which will provide training, recommendations on guidelines for safer (new) construction, as well as retrofitting options (if any) for existing schools to reach the minimum life-safety standards.