As the World Bank Group released a new index study for assessment of the human capital of every country, it was found out that Afghanistan’s human capital reaches only 39% of its potential.
“Full Potential” as per the standards of the Human Capital Index is 14 years of quality education and survival until age 60. As per the study, it is more than evident that Afghanistan needs to invest more in its people. This has in fact been a priority of the Afghan government so much so that international aid is also channelized into the human development field.
Some notable progress has been made in terms of the human capital index: The total number of children enrolled in primary and lower secondary school has doubled and the under-five mortality rate has dropped drastically too.
The study shows that the enrollment volume has increased from 4 million in 2003 to a more than twice its amount of 9 million in 2018.
But there still seems to be a long way to go for Afghanistan’s human capital development. There still need to be more allocation of the resources for education and health in the country.
The HCI report stated that Afghanistan has a whooping 3.7 million children who are out of school. Worse still, is the fact that learning is not efficient as it may have seemed-a separate World Bank study demonstrated that an average Afghan student of 4th grade was proficient in language and mathematics which levels up to only one year of education.
Safety is a big concern in this respect as well, as the HCI report focused on related figures. For instance, roughly half of Afghanistan’s schools have a structure of their own, the lack of which makes students vulnerable in terms of safety and security. This rings true when one recalls the horrifying experience of a suicide attack by IS-K in the month of August this year which targeted a training institute and claimed more than 50 lives.
In terms of gender indices, the Gender Parity Index (GPI) showed that ratio of girls studying in schools is still low as compared to ratio of boys.
When it comes to healthcare, the numbers of the report indicate that there is a lot of work needed to increase access to health services, especially for women and children and the poor.
Poor governance seems to be the formidable challenge that Afghanistan faces in the case of Human Capital Index.