During the last days of 1397[Solar year], the ministry of higher education of Afghanistan banned 26 universities where medical sciences are taught after their Kankor exams.
According to MOHE, a delegation of the ministries of higher education and Public health review the activities of 45 private universities which were teaching medical sciences. Their report was submitted to the cabinet. Based on the cabinet’s decision, 20 institutions were banned from enrolling new students due to poor performance and six institutions were banned temporarily.
After the establishment of government in 2001, dozens of universities begun operations along with Public universities. However, concerns have raised regarding their poor and low quality. Here, we discuss higher education and the condition of private universities in Afghanistan.
Higher education in Afghanistan
Faculty of medical sciences was the first higher education institution in Afghanistan which was established at the time of King Nadar Shah in 1932 in Kabul. Kabul University was established officially as the first university of Afghanistan in 1946 which currently has 21 faculties and 92 departments.
At the Time of Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan, the ministry of higher education was established to enhance and develop higher education in Afghanistan. Later, higher education improved and many faculties and departments were established according to the interest and worldview of the people of Afghanistan.
With the establishment of the new government in 2001, the condition of higher education changed remarkably. The quantity of private higher education institutions increased incomparably after 2002 and dozens of universities were established along with Public universities.
According to the ministry of higher education, around 38 private and 131 private higher education institutions currently operate in Afghanistan. However, despite spending millions of dollars, the quality of higher education is still a serious problem in Afghanistan.
Private higher education institutions
Various private higher education institutions are primary factors of entrepreneurship, facilities, and guarantors of quality in our societies. Higher education also play a role in the development of our community and currently the best universities like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and other graduates scholars for the development
Like other countries, enhancement of higher education and the establishment of dozens of higher education in Afghanistan during 18 years was one the achievements in the sector. Kardan was the first private institution established in 2002 in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban regime. Later, progress was made in the sector, and dozens of universities and higher education institutions were established.
Although too much investment has been spent on private higher education institutions, quality, excessive establishments are still obstacles. Mostly when a youngster doesn’t succeed to get admission in public university or doesn’t get enrollment in his favorite faculty, he/she walks towards a private university and considers it an opportunity.
Problems in private higher education institutions
Undoubtedly, the development of higher education was remarkable during the past 18 years. However, there are problems that have been witnessed in private institutions:
First: Absence of a precise mechanism for the attraction of students is one of the biggest problems of private higher education institutions. Some of the institutions have unhealthy competition. These institutions throw-outs all the rules and regulation of higher education from the beginning of the entrance exam until students’ graduation. Such doings have reduced the quality of education.
Second: Lack of professional and academic staff is another problem in private institutions. Most of these institution does not higher worthy individuals to teach due to higher cost and financial requirements. Rather, they higher those who have low experience and poor educational background.
Third: Another problem with private higher education institutions is the lack of appropriates facilities to study. Most of the laboratories and libraries in private higher education institutions are not according to standards, and most of the institutions are established in residential houses.
Fourth: Due to the absence of monitoring, the owners of some institutions lack attention to the quality of education. It is necessary for the ministry of higher education to seriously need to monitor and evaluate the quality of private higher education.
Fifth: Overall, higher education institutions are seen business investment and the focus is on profit. However, it is necessary to focus on students’ participation in class, teaching, and exam, so that a graduate knows something to represent something to the community.
Presence of the above and many other problems are causes of incompetence of graduates in the community.
Considering the demands of the Afghan community and low capacity of public universities in Afghanistan, the presence of private higher education institutions is essential. On the other hand, poor quality of education in some private institution should be considered as an intricacy of the community.
It is the responsibility of the ministry of higher education to improve the quality of education in private institutions by bearing in mind efficient mechanism and strategies for controlling the condition.
The latest step of the evaluation of medical institutions by MOHE is itself an efficient step towards improvement. However, follow up and keeping the evaluation process away from corruption is crucial.
Most of the private higher education institutions haven’t accomplished anything the betterment of teaching and have only strived for profit. For the ministry of higher education to have executed their duty, it required to monitor and evaluate the course of students and lecturers’ absorption, study materials, application of curriculum and necessary equipment in private higher education institutions.