In the name of Almighty Allah
CSHRN Statement Regarding the Recent Plan of Ministry of Higher Education
On Rationing the Entrance Exam (Concour)
July 09, 2013
The Afghan ministry of higher education has announced that after this, the entrance exam of universities will be taken based on the quotas on provinces and regions. And also, getting more than 65% average for school graduates during the last three years is considered as a requirement of attending the entrance exam (Concour).
Ministry of higher education says that the purpose of this project is equal access of all provinces to higher and semi-higher education and ensuring transparency and justice in the process of Concour and a way of tackling the current problems in this field.
There is no doubt that equal access to education is the right of every Afghan citizen and according to the first paragraph of article no 43 of the Afghan constitution «Education is the right of all citizens of Afghanistan, which shall be offered up to the B.A. level in the state educational institutes free of charge by the state».
According to this paragraph of the constitution, the Afghan government is obliged to provide access to education in all levels, primary, secondary, higher and semi-higher education to all Afghan citizens without any dependency to region, location or specific province. Based on the provision of the constitution, the right to access education, is an equal citizenship right for all citizens of Afghanistan and cannot be divided or separated based on the relation or dependency of the people.
Also, Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (adopted by the UN general assembly in 1966), which Afghanistan signed and ratified, have considered the right to education at primary and secondary levels, an inalienable human rights of all individuals, to benefit from based on their merit.
Higher education ministry’s plan in respect of rationing the entrance exam to regions and provinces is a clear violation of article 43 of the Afghan constitution and contrary to human rights standards and criteria’s; because it limits the citizen’s access to higher education. In fact, initiating such plans by the ministry of higher education is depriving the citizens from their citizenship rights and inalienable and indivisible right to education for their links and relations to provinces and specific regions or for their place of resident, and doing so, will dismiss the role of Concour as assessment of merit of applicants.
The ministry of higher education is claiming that, the plan has been confirmed through a joint meeting with related governmental administrations, foreign critics and representatives of civil society.
The Civil Society & Human Rights Network of Afghanistan (CSHRN) as an umbrella institution and one of the coordinating centers for civil societies in the country, having 112 member organizations across the country, proclaim that they had not participated in this meeting and considers its approval against the law and violation of human rights.
CSHRN considers the right to education, the right of each and every person without their links and dependencies to location, region, province, language, ethnicity, religion and specific gender and believes that any kind of quota in Concour based on any kind of dependency, is prejudicial and will cause depriving the human rights of a many applicants of Concour and their access to higher education.
CSHRN believes that rationing the entrance exam will induce to dismiss the quality of higher education and universities in the country; because it’s not based on open competition that enables the eligible and talented people to succeed to higher education.
We don’t agree with the requirement of having more than 65% average too, and call it against the law and we believe that this will spread corruption in school levels.
According to the above arguments, the Civil Society and Human Rights Network of Afghanistan want the ministry of higher education and the other involved organizations in this project to repeal this decision and plan as soon as possible and organize and implement some effective programs for developing equal higher education in the country.
We ask the ministry of higher education and other involved institutions to fulfill their commitments of the constitution and the strategic plan of the ministry regarding the quality of higher education and its equal access by the applicants, and organize their programs according to the constitutions and human rights principles and values for equal development of the right of access to higher education.
Furthermore, the Civil Society & Human Rights Network of Afghanistan requests the national assembly insistently to pass the law of higher education soon and provide a legal way for making decisions and plans in the field of higher education in the country.
In hope of securing the Rule of Law & Human Rights in the country!