In 1980 when I was eight years old and in grade two of my primary school I had to leave Kabul, Afghanistan and migrated to Pakistan with my family. We had to migrate to Pakistan because my father was a journalist who wrote openly against political activists who later took power by brutal force in 1979. Obviously we had no right to stay under that tyrant regime and migrated with millions of other Afghans to neighboring countries. This undesired and forceful political change ultimately brought complete destruction and wide-scale suffering to Afghan population. This destruction also completely destroyed the slowly and gradually evolved educational system of Afghanistan. 


In Pakistan I was lucky to have access to primary, secondary and tertiary education. The institutions and conditions may have not been very favorable but I still consider myself much luckier than millions of Afghan kids who were without education in those years. Teaching became my first job. Knowing the importance of access and quality education and its impact on the students’ lives was the motivation for my teaching which continued for almost eight years in Quetta, Pakistan. In 2001, after the fall of Taliban I returned to Afghanistan and joined UNICEF education team in southern provinces of Afghanistan.  I used all my abilities trying to provide access opportunities to Afghan children under the well-known Back-to-School campaign.


Working on the development of sound policies and strategies for the education system in Afghanistan became a new chapter of my career when I joined the World Bank in September 2003. The World Bank projects demanded that I maintain regular contacts with administration and leadership of three relevant ministries in the education sector. These contacts revealed to me the problems of Afghanistan’s education system. Besides other major problems Afghanistan seriously lacks technical knowledge and capacity to absorb the streams of uncoordinated strategies and ideas from the many donors, bi-lateral agencies, UN, and NGOs.


The goal of working for the education system of Afghanistan has made me come to the world of CIE.  I know CIE will offer unique opportunities and I am confident I will learn more to overcome my technical deficiencies and gain new ideas and experiences in the field of education. I will take back to Afghanistan with me the knowledge deemed crucial for the development of a strong education system in Afghanistan.


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