Thursday, 26 January 2017

According to the Afghan Labor Law, foreign workers can only come to Afghanistan if there are no Afghan cadres in that field

The decision of the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) to impose a ban on the recruitment of foreign lecturers in private universities has provoked concerns. Through an official letter two weeks ago, the Directorate for Private Universities urged all private education institutions not to extend work permits of foreign professors. In order to provide employment opportunities for Afghan youth, the Directorate said Afghans should be recruited in academia instead of foreigners. Najibullah Azad, a lecturer of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), said such restriction on foreign professors was an improper move from many aspects, which might hurt the higher education sector. Debarring overseas instructors was not an appropriate way of creating work opportunities for Afghans, Azad believed, calling on the Afghan government to enhance the capacity of graduating students through extracurricular training programs to a level based on which they could contest in an increasingly competitive job market. Stating there was a dire need for foreign teachers created by low capacity of Afghan lectures, the AUAF professor stressed: “Most foreign teachers not only are qualified cadres, but also free from misconduct such blackmailing, bigotry, vice and administrative corruption." Afghanistan still needed foreign faculty members to build technical capacities, underlined Qudratullah Zaki, a lawmaker, who told The Heart of Asia that the Ministry of Higher Education should identify areas requiring foreign lecturers. Hadi Shinwari, a lecturer of Roshan University in Nangarhar, said the restriction should have been slapped on certain individuals. Talking to The Heart of Asia, he said the word “ban” was also inappropriate diplomatically, and the Afghan government should therefore have formulated a mechanism making it impossible for Pakistani lecturers to penetrate Afghan higher education institutions. "We should be so proud that French, American, British or other nationals teach in our universities because the faculty of those countries possess high competencies and extensive experience Afghans lack," he added. He proposed that the Ministry of Higher Education should explore other solutions for employment creation because the number of all foreign faculties nationwide might not exceed 100, thereby making it almost impossible to curb unemployment through that approach. The MoHE’s Director of Private Universities, Mohammad Amir Kamawal, said they have made the decision after repeated complaints from the youth. There were currently tens of people with master's and PhD degrees; however, they were not given the chance to teach in private universities, and instead foreign lecturers with bachelor's degrees have been hired. According to the Afghan Labor Law, foreign workers can only come to Afghanistan if there are no Afghan cadres in that field. Nonetheless, specialists are hardly found in Afghanistan and foreign professors also teach only in the fields of computer science, languages and other technical aspects.

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