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Class 6 girls and boys in Afghanistan 2013: comparing outcomes of girls and boys from a learning assessment of mathematical, reading and writing literacy

Children Education Educational tests and measurements Literacy Girls Boys Afghanistan

This report presents the results of an assessment of reading, writing and mathematical literacy of Class 6 students in 13 provinces in Afghanistan in relation to the gender of students.


The purpose of the Monitoring Trends in Educational Growth of is to provide information to education policy makers on the quality of education outcomes in Afghanistan. In addition Monitoring Trends in Educational Growth will inform educational practitioners by clearly demonstrating what students at Class 6 can and cannot do in an assessment situation.

One of the policy areas that aims to inform is gender equality. It is known that fewer girls attend school than boys and that the rate of illiteracy amongst the female population is higher. In accordance with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (United Nations, n.d.), redressing this imbalance is a priority for Afghanistan (Islamic Republic of  Afghanistan, 2008; Afghanistan Ministry of Education, 2010; Afghanistan Ministry of Education, 2011). Despite data having been collected on school attendance and literacy levels in the population, little is known on the quality of educational outcomes.

This report hopes to contribute to the discussion on gender disparity by reporting on the proficiency levels of girls and boys in the domains of mathematical, reading and writing literacy. The data gathered in the 2013 Monitoring Trends in Educational Growth assessment of Class 6 students in Afghanistan also provides information on background characteristics that may interact with school attendance and achievement, both of which are important indicators of of gender parity. These background characteristics include attitudes to school, perceived support, socio-economic status, and location.

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