BEACON - Basic Education for Afghanistan Consortium | AFGHANISTAN

The Basic Education for Afghanistan Consortium’s (BEACON) ultimate goal is to ensure that children and youth have the knowledge and skills to be productive members of Afghan society. The project will focus on increasing the accessibility of community-based education in rural areas, while building the sustainability of programs through community and government support.

The situation

Although enrollment in grades 1 through 12 has increased to more than 7.3 million students in 2011, approximately 5 million school-aged children are still thought to be out of school and 1.2 million, though registered, are permanently absent. Despite an increase in enrollment, girls still only make up 39 per cent of the primary school population.


  • Achieve a noticeable benefit for 25,000 students, including children (at least 60 per cent girls), youth and women in remote rural areas with greater access to education, resources and supportive learning environments.
  • Provide 800 teachers (at least 40 per cent women) with effective teaching methods and resources.
  • Increase the capacity for the Ministry of Education to support community-based education on a long-term sustainable basis.
  • Engage the community in educational activities in partnership with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders.


This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

 Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The project is being led in partnership with four organizations: CARE Canada, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Combined, CARE, IRC, AKF and CRS have more than 40 years of experience implementing education programs in Afghanistan.

Quick Facts

About the project

Start Date: 2012
End Date: 2015
Total impact: 25,000 students (approximately 60 per cent female) and 800 teachers (40 per cent female)

About Afghanistan

  • Afghanistan is ranked 175 out of the 186 countries listed in the 2012 Human Development Index, a tool that ranks countries based on life expectancy, education and population income.
  • More than 77 per cent of the Afghan population lives in rural remote areas and 45 per cent of the population is under 15 years old.
  • Afghanistan's Ministry of Education operated 9,000 primary schools, though capacity of these schools is unable to support the educational needs of the country.

Women's Empowerment

CARE Canada is working to empower women and girls in the rural communities of Afghanistan. This means providing them with better access to quality education and removing the barriers that prevent many young girls from attending school. By offering classrooms closer to home and providing training and support to trusted members of communities to become teachers, CARE aims to improve gender equality in community-based classrooms across Afghanistan.

For more information on this project, please contact

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