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Afghanistan Table of Contents



A demographic survey conducted in 1976 estimated that 81 percent of the population over six (71 percent male; 93 percent female) had never attended school. Attendance of school-age children declined markedly in the higher grades: primary 30 percent (51 percent male; 8.6 percent female); middle 12 percent (21 percent male; 3.0 percent female); secondary 7 percent (12 percent male; 2 percent female). Although low, this represented more than a two-fold increase from the mid-1960s. Since the war, however, drop-out rates have continued to rise while school completion rates fall, especially among females. By 1990, even official figures record a substantial decline in primary schools: a drop of 84 percent in the number of boys schools; a 72 percent drop for girls. This reflected the physical destruction caused by the war, the refugee exodus, and the scarcity of teachers, a high proportion of whom, male and female, settled in third countries.

Data as of 1997