Educational policies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan: Contested terrain in the twenty-first century

Educational policies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan: Contested terrain in the twenty-first century



In the mountains of the Northern Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan School and schooling are both symbolic of wider ranging cultural and political battles over morals, modernity, development, gender and the rule of law. Educational Policies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan: Contested Terrain in the Twenty-First Century is about both the normative battles over the purpose of education, as well as about the structural impediments to providing instruction in those remote and challenging locations where it is attempted. The analytical frames in this collection come primarily from the social sciences and comparative education. Contributors examine education, policy, processes and structures in the broader socio-cultural, religious and economic context of three countries sharing somewhat similar colonial and post- colonial legacy and current uprising of extreme religious positions and a drive to social-cohesion.

Table of Contents

Introduction / Dilshad Ashraf and Alan J. DeYoung - Chapter 1: Missing pieces: factors affecting girls’ school attendance in Tajikistan / Christopher M. Whitsel - Chapter 2: The militarization of Afghan women's learning in 'post-conflict' Afghanistan / Spogmai Akseer - Chapter 3: Girls education in Afghanistan: complexities of context and the need for innovation: a case study of the Flexible Response Fund (FRF) / Shama Dossa and Hajee Parveen Roy - Chapter 4: Islamic education in post-Soviet Tajikistan: A field of contestations / Sarfaroz Niyozov, Hakim Elnazarov, and Sultonbek Aksakolov - Chapter 5: Religion and state in Pakistani: Influence on education with special focus on Gilgit-Baltistan / Jan-e-Alam Khaki, Mola Dad Shafa, and Sharifullah Baig - Chapter 6: Creating social cohesion through schooling in Pakistan's Swat Valley: A UNICEF approach / Parveen Roy and Alan DeYoung, and Dilshad Ashraf - Chapter 7: Building communities by building schools in the rural, mountainous regions of Pakistan / Mir Afzal Tajik - Chapter 8: Narratives of Schooling during the Tajik Civil War (1992-1997) / Carole Faucher - Chapter 9: Schooling and the cultural identity in Baltistan / Zakir Hussain and Dilshad Ashraf - Conclusion: Transforming contested education terrains into opportunities for hope and peace / Sarfaroz Niyozov and Jan-e-Alam Khaki.

Publication Information

Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland, 2017




Education, Rural education, Regional studies, History


This work is a distinctive and influential contribution to understanding education—in all its complexity—in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. With a focus on implications for educational and social policy, fundamental questions and issues about access to and purposes of education are raised and discussed. Appropriately, these are framed within broader, sometimes contested and conflicting, political contexts. A major strength of the book is that most of the writers have themselves progressed through the systems being described, and their contributions are grounded in realities. This work takes knowledge of education practices in the region to a new level and provides a baseline of understandings from which policy makers, future researchers and others can build. Robert Baker, Former Provost, the Aga Khan University

Without romanticizing the realities of local communities in conflicting geo-political situations, this book engages in an insightful discussion around unique educational experiences in the mountainous regions of Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This is one of the best ethnographic books on education; it is well-written and filled with qualified and diverse scholars who hail from this region or who have spent long periods of time in this part of the world. The contributors’ powerful portrayals and narrations in this book indeed provide optimism and aspirations for empowering girls, women and the underprivileged through education. Duishonkul Shamatov, Nazarbayev University

Educational policies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan: Contested terrain in the twenty-first century