Exporting educational excellence

Another verdict on our, um, endeavors in Afghanistan is in:

The United States government has spent $200 million on a literacy program for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) over the past five years but half the Afghan army still can’t read or write according to a new report.

“Literacy of the Afghan National Security Forces is of critical importance,” said John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). “We’ve spent $200 million on this  — yet we don’t even know how many Afghan security forces are literate or how well the program worked. That’s deeply disturbing.”

Lest I be called a complete pessimist, I’ll note the glass is half full here.  Roughly 300,000 Afghanis were supposed to have been educated under this program.  So that means this particular debacle only cost about $667 a student.  Compared to the roughly $12,000 per pupil we spend annually here at home for what often seems like only slightly better results from our public schools, that’s a pretty good bargain!


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