Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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AAN contributes to book on “Education and Development in Afghanistan”

Thomas Ruttig 3 min

After years of military interventions, the current situation in Afghanistan is highly ambivalent and partially contradictory – especially regarding the interplay of development, peace, security, education, and economy. Despite numerous initiatives, Afghanistan is still confronted with a poor security and economic condition. This volume investigates the tension between these ambivalent developments. Sociologists, political and cultural scientists along with development workers, educators, and artists from Germany and Afghanistan discuss the idea that education is primary for rebuilding a stable Afghan state and government. (intro text of the publisher)

Girls receive their exam certificates in Jaghori district, at a school supported by German NGO Freundeskreis Afghanistan (FKA). Photo: FKA 2011.

Bittlingmayer UH, Grundmeier AM, Kößler, R, Sahrai, D, Sahrai, F (eds): Education and Development in Afghanistan. Challenges and Prospects. Bielefeld: transcript, 2019.

One chapter (“Schools on the Frontline: The Struggle over Education in the Afghan Wars“) was contributed by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig. It deals with the subject of the expansion of the educational system in Afghanistan, starting under the rule of reformer-king Amanullah (1919-29) and the societal, modernisation-related conflicts it created that shaped the country’s history throughout the twentieth century and continue to do so.

This chapter particularly focusses on the Taleban’s policies on education, both when in power (1996-2001) and back into their insurgency (after 2001). This analysis is a contribution to the discussion about what can be expected from the movement should get back in power in the country, either as a result of a peace and power sharing agreement or by military means.

Ruttig, Thomas (2019), “Schools on the Frontline: The Struggle over Education in the Afghan Wars“, in: Uwe H. Bittlingmayer/Anne-Marie Grundmeier/Reinhart Kößler/Diana Sahrai/Fereschta Sahrai (Eds.), Education and Development in Afghanistan (101-140). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.

PDF version here:

20180118Ruttig final

Book DOI:

Online ISBN: 978-3-8394-3637-0

More info on the book on the publisher’s website, here.

List of content and the chapters’ authors:


Ulrich Druwe & Walter Rohrer | 9

If you Want Peace, Educate for Peace: Education in Afghanistan

Francisco Rojas Aravena | 11

Introduction: Education and Development in Afghanistan between History, Expansion, Hope and Disillusions

Uwe H. Bittlingmayer, Anne-Marie Grundmeier, Reinhart Kößler, Fereschta Sahrai & Diana Sahrai | 15


Development – Analytical Value and Ideological Baggage of an Elusive Term
Some Considerations on Principle
Reinhart Kößler | 47

Local Languages and Their Role in Education for Development in Afghanistan
Adele Jones | 63

Highly Motivated, Transnational, Heterogeneous,
and Barely Interconnected: An Explorative Online Survey among German Organizations Operating in Afghanistan: Characteristic, Commitment and Content

Stefanie Harsch & Uwe H. Bittlingmayer | 79

Schools on the Frontline: The Struggle over Education in the Afghan Wars

Thomas Ruttig | 101


Crisis and Reconstruction in Teacher Education in Afghanistan 2002 – 2016: From Emergency to Stability
Susan Wardak | 143

Macro-Trends and Dynamics of Change in the Afghan Public Education Sector: A Concise Compilation and Contextualization of Key Data Variables and Progress Indicators
Craig C. Naumann | 157

Private Higher Education in Afghanistan: An Overview

Asadullah Jawid | 175

Teacher Education at the Faculty of Education at Herat University: History, Recent Trends and Ongoing Challenges

Pohand Mohamad Joma Hanif | 193


Training Teachers in Peace Education in Afghanistan: Achievements and Challenges

Razia Stanikzai, Khalil Fazli & Dianne Denton | 201

From Education in Emergencies to Facilitating Change in Afghanistan’s Teacher Education System: Achievements of German Development Cooperation in Afghanistan’s Education Sector since 2004

Andrea Müller | 219

Private Scholarships for Students from Poor Families at Herat University: A Small Substitution or Structural Compensationof a Governmental Task?

Heide Kässer | 237

The Project of the German-Afghan Initiative with Nomads and Semi-Nomads in the Province of Herat
Sarghuna Nashir-Steck | 245

How Afghan Embroiderers from Laghmani Discover Writing as a Tool for Communication
Pascale Goldenberg | 255

History Alive: Cultural Education as a Key to Multicultural Consciousness and Understanding
Laila Sahrai | 271

The Visual Heritage of Afghanistan: Photographic Testimonials between Destruction, Decay and Oblivion
Dominic Wirz, Anke Schürer-Ries & Paul Bucherer-Dietschi | 281


Afghanistan Today – Perspectives of an Afghan Living in Exile

Anonymous |295

More Schools for Afghanistan

Laila Noor | 299

Access to Education as an Essential and Urgent Need

Sima Samar | 303


Afghanistan Amanullah Development Education modernisation Taliban