Minister of Education Ghulam Farooq Wardak (right) meets with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
With support from USAID, Afghanistan's Minister of Education H.E. Dr. Wardak paid a visit to Washington, D.C, from May 29 through June 5, where he met with officials from the U.S. Government to include congress and USAID, World Bank, and the Asia Foundation. Minister Wardak’s visit served to ensure US support and cooperation to the Afghan Ministry of Education.
The Embassy of Afghanistan held a reception in which Ambassador Hakimi welcomed Minister Wardak and his delegation to D.C. Those in attendance joined together to celebrate and commend Minister Wardak’s accomplishments in his efforts to strengthen Afghanistan’s education sector. The Minister was motivated and spoke with members of the Afghan community along with American investors in an effort to explicate the success and progress the nation was making. He went on to explain that the achievements being made in Afghanistan were theirs to share given the American taxpayers are the ones who contribute the most to the effort in rebuilding Afghanistan. During his visit, Minister Wardak also spoke with numerous media outlets such as Voice of America, BBC, NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg, Arianna International TV, and Pajhwok News Agency.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education has set a 2020 deadline to provide all children in the nation equal access to a quality education. The Ministry plans on achieving this goal by implementing a plan which will improve quality and access to educational facilities by providing training to existing teachers and graduates currently in Afghanistan. Also, this plan will be used to promote participation from all citizens and teach them the importance of a national educational system and its effect on the nation’s overall economic and social stability. Despite challenges such as lack of teacher aptitude, proper infrastructure, funding, and management, the Ministry of Education has increased school enrollment to seven million children, 37 percent of that number being girls. Four thousand five hundred school buildings have been constructed with active participation from community members to allow for a safer and more appropriate learning environment. The Ministry has not only created better educational opportunities for children, but for adults as well.
Minister Wardak meets with the principal of the Charlottesville High School to gain insight on the curriculum and extracurricular activities offered there.
Minister Wardak has consistently tried to increase the number in achievements and has strived long and hard to create more opportunities for Afghans. In his trip to D.C., Minister Wardak and his delegation visited Piedmont Virginia Community College, Monticello and Charlottesville, VA. The minister chose the city of Charlottesville to visit various colleges and schools and gain insight on the curriculums and extracurricular activities offered there. After touring some of the city’s schools and witnessing their leadership skills, Minister Wardak anticipated establishing an enduring relationship with the school division. Minister Wardak’s trip to D.C. was successful in all aspects and he continues to receive cooperation from the American public as well as the U.S. Government in his ventures to better the Afghan educational system.
Ambassador Hakimi showed hospitality and kindness in welcoming Minister Wardak to D.C. and ensured that the Ministry will continue receiving support since they play a crucial role in bringing peace and stability into Afghanistan.