Afghanistan has come a long way in education sector. The country has made a remarkable quantitative and qualitative progress in this sector compared to the late 1990s, when the Taliban were in power and schools were shut in most parts of the country. Despite achievements made, the country’s educational system is facing major flaws. Widespread corruption, misappropriation and most notable of all, a regional-based quota system have fallen the country’s entire educational system prey to politics of differences. A new finding by Kabul Now suggests the regional-based quota system of Kankor exam (university entry exam) is largely biased and unbalanced when it comes to equal opportunity for Kankor participants.  

Findings indicate that contrary to claims made by the country’s National Examination Department (NED) the regional-based quota system has not been developed on the basis of demography of the provinces. Afghanistan is a country where census has not been conducted up untill now as a result of a political difference over power sharing.      

Government documents indicate that as per the education plan as many as 3,399 Kankor applicants should have allowed to enter the country’s top 14 universities last year but the actual number of students who have made their ways to the top universities is 2,667. NED authorities claim that the 732 seats remain vacant but Kabul Now has not found whether the seats are vacant or taken by those applicants who usually bribe the authorities to get admission in universities. 

The 14 top universities where students have been enrolled are as following: Kabul University of Medical Sciences, University of Kabul, Alberoni University, Balkh university, Bamyan university, Herat university, Kandahar university, Kunduz university, Nangarhar university, Paktia university, Parwan university, Kabul Polytechnic university, Shaikh Zayed Khost university, and Takhar university.

The applicants were enrolled to study medical science, engineering, law, economy, agriculture, and computer science.   

A quota system in education was put in place to balance participation of undeveloped and underprivileged provinces in education sector but the findings suggest Nangarhar, Herat, Ghazni, and Balkh— which considered as developed provinces by national standards— have benefited more share in quota system as compared to those underdeveloped provinces of the country.

In quota system, Afghan Kochis, nomads, have been given a separate share in every zone. But the number of seats given to Kochi population is not clearly mentioned.

How the quota is distributed among provinces?

The quota system in Afghanistan comes under public eye while equal distribution of national resources is a central topic among politicians and major political groups in the country.          

Dost Mohammad Faizi, the spokesperson for the NED, told Kabul Now that the quota of each province is given on the basis of proportion of seats each province contains in the Parliament. “For instance, the province which has nine MPs is granted a proportionate share in Kankor,” he added.

Findings, however, show the opposite.  

A coefficient variation (CV), however, shows huge variability, with Paktika, Maidan Wardak and Khost provinces standing on the top and Badakhshan, Takhar and Kunduz province standing on the bottom. (Paktika 25, Maidan Wardak and Khost 24.6 and Badakhshan, Takhar and Kunduz 8.77).

On the other hand, account given by the NED varies the quota system approved by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) in 1397 (Solar Year). “75 percent of seats [are allocated] for general competition and 25 percent of seats [are allocated] for regional competition which is based on the population of each province in the region,” reads a policy approved by the MoHE—making no mention about MP-based quota.

If the regional-based quota system was developed on the basis of population of the provinces, the populated provinces such as Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Balkh, Helmand, Kandahar, Ghazni, Kunduz, Faryab, Takhar, and Badakhshan would have more shares. If the system was developed based on the number of Kankor applicants from each province, a 25 percent share should have been given to Kabul, Balkh, Nangarhar, Herat, Badakhshan, Takhar, Ghazni, Baghlan, Kunduz, Khost, and Parwan provinces.

The actual number of students admitted in top universities reveals it is otherwise. Students from Nangarhar, Herat, Kandahar, Ghazni, Balkh, Helmand, Khost, Faryab, Paktia, Logar, Paktika, and Kunduz have respectively received most seats in top universities.

A data analysis shows that the quota system is neither developed on the basis of population nor based on the number of applicants.   

25 percent of seats in engineering faculties of Paktia University, Balkh, Nangarhar, and Herat medical universities have been shared based on the quota formula whereas the same formula is not applied in the central region. 25 percent of medical science and engineering seats of Alberoni University has not been shared on the basis of population of the provinces. If the population was a criteria, Takhar, Bamyan, Parwan, Daikundi, Kapisa, and Panjshir should have received most of the seats in Medicines faculty of Alberoni University.

Kabul Now findings indicate that 732 seats in top universities allocated to the 25 percent quota system have remained vacant, the NED confirms that 720 seats have remained empty for what it described as “distrust of the Kankor applicants” towards the newly established system.

When region-based quota system was put in place?

On December 05, 2018, a cabinet meeting chaired by President Ghani approved the region-based quota system. According to the plan, those students who have completed at least the high school period (three last years of school) in one of the less-developed provinces could take the advantage of “exclusive quota” to be admitted in top universities. The plan provoked widespread reactions across the country and most of citizens criticized the plan, calling it biased. Later, the ministries of education and higher education said that the plan was not aimed at distributing universities seats and it was developed to train local cadets.

Moreover, spokesperson for the Ministry of Higher Education, Faisal Amin, stated that the new plan was a replacement for another initiative developed during Hamid Karzai’s government. According to him, the initiative allowed students from “deprived provinces” to enter universities without passing Kankor examinations just after taking a three-month university preparation course.

Providing clarifications on the newly regional based quota system, the Ministry of Higher Education said that 25 percent of seats in the top universities would be allocated to students from less-developed provinces and Kochis through a merit-based competition at regional level.

Based on the quota system, Afghanistan is divided into eight regions. The eastern region includes Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan provinces, and Kochis. The south-eastern region contains Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni provinces, and Kochis. Kandahar, Helmand, Urozgan, Zabul provinces, and Kochis are aggregated into the south-western region. The western region encompasses Herat, Badghis, Farah, Nimroz, Ghor provinces, and Kochis. The north-eastern region includes Kunduz, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, and Kochis. The north region is comprised of Balkh, Jowzjan, Samangan, Sar-e-Pul, Faryab, and Kochis. The central region encompasses Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Bamyan, Daikundi, and Kochis.

Based on the quota system, students from all across the country should participate in general competition to win seats in four universities in Kabul but each of Afghanistan 34 province would be granted one seat – in development fields – in the relevant faculties of the four universities.

Who have designed the quota based system?

Najibullah Khwaja Omeri, former minister of higher education, told Kabul Now that the idea of the quota based system was not shared with him at the beginning and that the plan was presented by Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, head of the NED, during a leadership meeting of the ministry.

Sources told Kabul Now that Mr. Khamosh, Abdul Tawab Balakarzai, now caretaker of the ministry, and Jawid Rasuli, former head of the NED, are designers of the plan who have even actively worked for approval of the plan at the cabinet meeting.

The source further revealed that Mr. Khamosh and Balakarzai had personally met with Ghani before presenting the plan in the cabinet meeting during which it was approved without any objection.

A former adviser to Mr. Omeri, then minister of the higher education, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed that Mr. Omeri was informed late.

Despite being informed lately, Mr. Omeri described the plan as an “alternative” for another biased plan approved in Karzai’s cabinet meeting that allowed students form Pashtun populated areas to enter universities without passing the university entrance exam.

“Both Mr. Balakarzai and Mr. Khamosh participated in the cabinet meeting with me to provide clarification on the plan. Jawid Rasuli is a cabinet member who have influence and interference in Kankoor department. When the alternative plan was presented and explained in the cabinet meeting by Mr. Khamoosh and Balakarzai, it was approved without any objection and reaction,” Mr. Omeri said about the cabinet meeting in which the regional quota based system was approved. He further noted that the regional quota based system was not biased and is in the interest of all less-developed provinces.

Rejecting Omeri’s comments, the NED spokesperson, Mr. Faizi, said that he was informed about the plan and presented it to the cabinet meeting. He detailed that the regional quota based system was jointly designed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, and the National Statistics Organization following a direction made by the presidential palace.

1397-1398 Kankor results

According to the NED, of 191,004 Kankor applicants in 1397-1398, 175,551 of them took general Kankor exams. The NED states that 61,863 Kankor takers took exam to be enrolled in the state-run universities, but 15,238 students were admitted in state-run institutes, and 78,014 test takers were declared eligible for pursuing their higher education in private universities. In total, 155,115 Kankor takers successfully passed the test while 20,463 others failed. Having 50,132 Kankor applicants, Kabul stands at the top while Nuristan has had the lowest number of Kankor applicants (392) in the country.

Most harmed province

The only province which is listed as developed is Kabul which does not have a share in 25 percent quota. Most districts of Kabul province are underdeveloped but NED authorities have nothing to say about it. 

Moreover, a number of seats in different development fields in Kabul University, Polytechnic University, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been taken by students from provinces through the quota based system. If the quota based system is aimed at training cadets for underdeveloped and less-developed provinces, other developed provinces like Nangarhar, Herat, Balkh, and Kandahar should also have exempted from the quota as Kabul. At odds to this notion, the four provinces enjoyed more share than any other province.  Excluding Kabul from the quota is also at odds to a clarification made by the Ministry of Higher Education. When the ministry came under criticism for developing the system, the education authorities said that “no province and individual” is excluded from the region-based quota system. “We cannot say anything in this regard whether justice is ensured or not because the issue was approved in the country’s cabinet meeting,” said the NED about excluding Kabul from the quota based system.

Seats occupied through quota based system

Findings by Kabul Now suggest a big difference between the total number of seats considered in the quota system and the number of seats occupied through the system as the result of 1397-1398 Kankor exams. For instance, Kandahar’s quota, which was set to have 188 seats, has given 184 seats, showing a four seat difference. Ghazni’s quota, which was set to have 235 seats, has been given 153 seats, suggesting a difference of 82 seats. Faryab’s quota, which was set to have 151 seats, has received 95 seats, indicating a difference of 56 seats.

Furthermore, data analysis of scores made by students who have enjoyed the quota suggests that there is a significant difference between their Kankor scores and scores recorded by students who are deprived of the 25 percent quota.

The highest Kankor mark is 60 in Afghanistan. Most applicants long to study medical science, engineering, economics and law which require the highest marks.

Nuristan

Based on documents obtained by Kabul Now, a quota of 32 seats has been given to Nuristan province at Kabul, Polytechnic, and medical universities of Kabul and Nangarhar. 26 out of 257 Kankor applicants from the province have been introduced through the regional based quota system to the universities. None of the 26 students has obtained more than 250 scores out of 360, inter alia, two brothers namely, Asadullah son of Wali Mohammad and Hayatullah son of Wali Mohammad (respectively scoring 244.0740 and 194.5640) were declared successful to be enrolled at Kabul University of Medical Sciences (KUMS).

Helmand

141 seats at universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Kandahar and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Helmand.

However, 116 test takers out of 1,886 Kankor applicants have been enrolled in universities through the regional-based quota system. Out of 116, four students have scored more than 100 and 52 others below 200.

Balkh

As per the quota, Balkh has set to have 178 seats at Kabul University, Polytechnic University, Balkh University, and Kabul medical university. Enjoying the quota system, only 152 students out of 13,225 Kankor applicants have made their ways to the universities, with 11 of them scoring more than 300 and 76 others below 200.

Bamyan

77 seats at Kabul, Polytechnic, Alberoni, Bamyan, Parwan universities, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Bamyan province. 60 out of 4,167 Kankor applicants, have been enrolled in universities, with two test takers scoring more than 300 and 26 others below 200.

Ghazni

A quota of 235 seat was set for Ghazni province in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Paktia, Shaikh Zayed Khost, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences primarily. But 153 Kankor takers, out of 7,269 applicants, have been introduced to the universities through the quota system, with four of them scoring more than 300 and 103 others scoring below 200.

Kandahar

188 seats were given to Kandahar province in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Kandahar, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences in the quota system. Out of a total of 3,397 Kankor applicants in the province, 184 students have been enrolled in universities through the quota system, with three of them scoring more than 300 and 49 others below the 200.

Herat

232 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Herat, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences were given to Herat in the quota system. Enjoying the quota, 196 students out of 10,105 Kankor applicants, were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with 33 quota users scoring more than 300 and 21 others scoring below 200 marks.

Nangarhar

247 seats were given to Nangarhar province in the universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Nangarhar, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences. Out of 12,118 Kankor applicants, 228 test takers were declared to be enrolled in top universities, with 17 of them scoring more than 300 and 71 others below 200.

Jowzjan

87 seats were reserved through quota system for Jowzjan province in the universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Balkh, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences. Out of 3,714 Kankor applicants, 30 test takers were introduced to the universities, through the quota system, with none of them being able to score more than 300 and 21 other scoring below 200.

Baghlan

74 seats in the universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Takhar, Kunduz, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Baghlan province. Enjoying the quota, 57 out 5,958 Kankor applicants were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with only one test taker scoring more than 300 and 35 others below 200.

Daikundi

77 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Alberoni, Bamyan, Parwan, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences were given to Daikundi province. Out of 3,398 Kankor applicants, only 60, enjoying the quota, were declared to be enrolled in the top universities, with six of them scoring more than 300 and 20 others below 200.

Maidan Wardak

123 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Shaikh Zayed Khost, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences were reserved as a quota for Maidan Wardak province. Out of 3,642 Kankor applicants of the province, only 60 test takers have been introduced to the universities, with two of them scoring more than 300 and 30 others below 200.

Kapisa

57 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Alberoni, Parwan, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Kapisa province. Out of 3,408 Kankor applicants, 56 test takers were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with four of them scoring more than 300 and 21 others below 200.

Logar

89 seats in the universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Paktia, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Logar province. Out of 3,101 Kankor applicants, 84 test takers, benefiting the quota, have made their ways to the universities, with two of them scoring more than 300 and 41 others below 200.

Panjshir

36 seats in the universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Alberoni, Parwan, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Panjshir province. Out of 1,531 Kankor applicants, 28 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared to be enrolled in universities, with none of them scoring more than 300 and 12 of them scoring below 200.

Paktiaka

101 seats in the universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Shaikh Zayed Khost, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Paktika province. Out of 973 Kankor applicants, 76 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with only one of them scoring more than 300 and 24 others below 200.

Takhar

79 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Takhar, Alberoni, Kunduz, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Takhar province. Out of 7,773 Kankor applicants, 63 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared to be enrolled in universities, with six of them scoring more than 300 and 35 others below 200.

Khost

123 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Shaikh Zayed Khost, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been considered as quota of Khost province. Out of 4,775 Kankor applicants, 105 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with six of them scoring more than 300 and 31 others below 200.

Paktia

109 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Paktia, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Paktia province. Out of 3,052 Kankor applicants, 90 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with only one of them scoring more than 300 and 34 others below 200.

Badakhshan

79 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Takhar, Kunduz, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Badakhshan province. Out of 8,616 kankor applicants, 71 test takers, enjoying the quota, have made their ways to the universities, with seven of them scoring more than 300 and 37 others below the 200.

Urozgan

59 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Kandahar, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Urozgan province. Out of a total 553 Kankor applicants of the province, 47 students, enjoying the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with only one of them scoring more than 300 and 27 others below 200.

Zabul

59 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Kandahar, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Zabul province. Out of a total of 518 Kankor applicants in the province, 54 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared to be enrolled in universities, with none of them scoring more than 300 and 29 of them have scored below 200.

Badghis

64 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Herat, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Badghis province. Out of 508 Kankor applicants, 45 test takers, benefiting from the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with two of them scoring more than 300 and seven others below 200.

Laghman

80 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Nangarhar, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Laghman province. Out 2,327 Kankor applicant, 61 students, benefiting from the quota, have made their ways to the universities, with six of them scoring more than 300 and 14 others below 200.

Ghor

85 seats have been given to Ghor province in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Herat, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences. Out of 1,732 Kankor applicants, 53 test takers were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with 10 of them scoring more than 300 and eight others below 200.

Kunduz

79 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Takhar, Paktia, Kunduz, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Kunduz province. Out of 5,438 Kankor applicants, 74 test takers were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with one of them scoring more than 300 and 41 others below 200.

Sar-e-Pul

87 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Balkh, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Sar-e-Pul province. Out of 1,724 Kankor applicants, 48 test takers were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with three of them scoring more than 300 and 22 others below 200.

Kunar

80 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Nangarhar, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Kunar province. Out of 3,207 Kankor applicants, 68 test takers, benefiting from the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with two of them scoring more than 300 and 28 others below 200.

Samangan

72 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Balkh, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Samangan province. Out of 1,973 Kankor applicants, 52 test takers, using the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with five of them scoring more than 300 and 22 others below 200.

Faryab

151 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Balkh, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Faryab province. Out of 3,794 Kankor applicants, 96 test takers were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with six of them scoring more than 300 and 28 others below 200.

Parwan

84 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Alberoni, Parwan, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Parwan province. Out of 4,637 Kankor applicants, 74 test takers, enjoying the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in universities, with three of them scoring more than 300 and 33 others below 200.

Farah

79 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Herat, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been reserved as quota of Farah province. Out of 1,516 Kankor applicants, 51 test takers, benefiting from the quota, have made their ways to the universities, with eight of them scoring more than 300 and nine others below 200.

Nimroz

37 seats in universities of Kabul, Polytechnic, Herat, and Kabul University of Medical Sciences have been given to Nimroz province. Out of 570 Kankor applicants of the province, 28 test takers, using the quota, were declared successful to be enrolled in the universities, with four of them scoring more than 300 and eight of them below 200.

Provincial quotas in fields of engineering and medical science

Since engineering and medical science play very vital roles and are most required for development of the country, Kabul Now has separately studied scores and number of students from provinces who have been introduced to the key fields of study in top universities through the regional quota based system.

Based on findings, using quotas of their respective provinces, 21 students from each of six provinces (Bamyan, Urozgan, Baghlan, Zabul, Ghor, Kapisa, and Maidan Wardak) have scored enough marks to study engineering and medical science in Kabul University of Medical Science, universities of Kabul, Shaikh Zayed Khost, Kandahar, Alberoni, Herat, Balkh, Paktia, Nangarhar, and Takhar.

Benefiting quotas of their respective provinces, varying number of students were declared to study engineering and medical science in top universities from following provinces: Badghis (18), Badakhshan (24), Balkh (42), Parwan (30), Paktia (33), Paktika (28), Panjshir (12), Takhar (26) Jowzjan (15), Khost (32), Daikundi (16), Sar-e-Pul (17), Samangan (17), Ghazni (68), Kunduz (25), Kandahar (75), Logar (32), Nangarhar (80), Nuristan (14), Helmand (52), Faryab (34), Farah (17), Nimroz (10), Laghman (23), Herat (65), and Kunar (27).

Although KUMS faculties of medicine and stomatology have a capacity of admitting 290 new students, a total of 358 students, including 66 students who have been granted quotas, have been introduced to the faculties. 20 out of the 66 students have scored lower than 270 and three others even lower than 200 whilst the lowest score for those who have made it through the general exam—deprived of the 25 percent quota—is 320.5 for general medicines and 308.5 for stomatology.

Though the medical science faculty at Herat University has a capacity of admitting 132 new students, 176 students, including 44 quota-benefited students – Herat (22); Nimroz (3); Farah (6); Ghor (8); Badghis (5) – have been introduced to the faculty.

While medical science faculty of Nangarhar University has a capacity of admitting 132 new students, 179 students, including 44 quotas-benefited students – Nangarhar (26); Kunar (7); Laghman (7); Nuristan (4) – have been introduced to the faculty.

Although medical faculty at Shaikh Zayed University of Khost has a capacity of admitting 107 new students, 143 Kankor takers, including 36 quota benefited students – Paktika (6); Khost (7); Ghazni (16); Wardak (7) – were declared to study at the faculty. Out of 36 quota benefited students, 16 of them have scored more than 290 and 20 others below 290.

With a capacity of 107 new enrollment, medical science faculty of Kandahar University has admitted 146 Kankor takers, including 36 quota benefited students from Kandahar (16); Urozgan (4); Zabul (4); and Helmand (12) provinces. Out of the 36 students, four of them have scored more than 300 and 13 others below 270.

With admission capacity of 107 new students, medical faculty of Balkh University has admitted 142 Kankor takers, including 35 quotas benefited students from Balkh (9); Badakhshan (7); Jowzjan (4); Sar-e-Pul (4); Samangan (3); Faryab (8). Out of the 35 students, 25 of them have scored more than 300 and no one has scored below 275.

While medical science faculty of Alberoni University has an admissions capacity of enrolling 98 new students, 139 Kankor takers, including 41 quota benefited students from Bamyan (7); Parwan (10); Panjshir (3); Takhar (7); Daikundi (7); Kapisa (7), were declared to study at the faculty. Out of the 41 students, 10 of them have scored more than 300 and three others below 270.

While medical faculty of Paktia University has a capacity of admitting 122 new students, 148 Kankor takers, including 24 quota benefited students from Paktia (6); Baghlan (6); Kunduz (7); Logar (5), were declared successful to study at the faculty. Out of the 24 students, no one has scored more than 300, with all obtained scores of the students ranging between 298 and 262.

While admission capacity of engineering faculty at Kabul University is 410, 443 Kankor takers, including 27 quota benefited students, were declared successful to study at the faculty. Out of the 27 students, three of them have scored more than 300 and six others below 200.

Faryab, Farah, Nimroz, Laghman, Herat, and Kunar are provinces which have not received any quota in the faculty seats.

While Kabul Polytechnic University has a capacity of admitting 1,497 new students, 1,467 Kankor takers, including 88 quotas benefited students, were declared successful to study at the university – lowering its admissions capacity by 30 seats. Out of the 88 students, two of them have scored more than 300 and 76 others below 270.

All 33 provinces, excluding Kabul, were given quotas for engineering and medical science—at odds to what the Ministry of Higher Education had promised that each province would only have one seat as its quota in development fields in four major university of Kabul.

Urozgan, Takhar, Ghazni, Nangarhar, and Helmand provinces have each received four seats at the university. Bamyan, Parwan, Paktia, Paktika, Jowzjan, Daikundi, Samangan, Faryab, Kapisa, Kunduz, Kandahar, Kunar, Logar, and Herat have each given three seats. Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Panjshir, Khost, Zabul, Sar-e-Pul, Farah, Laghman, Nuristan, Nimroz, and Maidan Wardak have each received two seats as their quotas. Badghis and Ghor provinces have each received the least, one seat, at the university.

Having an admission capacity for 210 new students, a number of 276 Kankor takers, including 66 quota benefited students from Herat (38); Badghis (9); Ghor (9); Farah (7); Nimroz (3), were declared to study engineering at Herat University. None of the 66 students have scored more than 300 and 57 of them scored below 270.

While engineering faculty of Nangarhar University has a capacity of admitting 246 new students, 329 Kankor takers, including 79 quotas benefited students from Nangarhar (47); Kunar (15); Nuristan (5); Laghman (12), were declared successful to be enrolled at the faculty. Out of the 79 quota benefited students, no one has scored more than 300, with 27 of them even receiving scores below 200.

Although engineering faculty of Shaikh Zayed University of Khost has a capacity for giving admission to 164 new students, 211 Kankor applicants, including 45 quota benefited students from Khost (20); Paktika (16); Wardak (9), were declared to study at the faculty. All the 45 quotas benefited students have scored below 300 (ranging between 286 and 158 scores). In violation of region-based quota system, 21 percent seats of the faculty has been occupied through quotas.

While the engineering faculty of Kandahar University has a capacity of admitting 364 new students, 463 Kankor applicants, including 108 quota benefited students from Kandahar (53); Urozgan (10); Zabul (12); Helmand (33), were declared successful to study at the faculty. None of the 108 quota benefited students have scored more than 275, with 42 of them even scoring below 200.

Engineering faculty of Balkh University has a capacity of admitting 371 new students but 381 Kankor applicants, including 70 quota-benefited students from Balkh (28); Jowzjan (5); Sar-e-Pul (8); Samangan (8); Faryab (21), have been introduced for getting admission in the faculty. Out of the 70 students, five of them have scored between the range of 275 and 300 while the rest have scored in the range of 152 to 275.

While the admission capacity of engineering faculty of Paktia University is 297, a number of 375 Kankor applicants, including 87 quota benefited students from Paktia (21); Ghazni (45); Logar (21), have been introduced to the faculty. Out of the 87 students, ten of them have scored 240 to 270 marks and the rest have scored in range of 240 to 154.

Engineering faculty of Alberoni university has a capacity of admitting 132 new students, but 174 Kankor takers, including 37 quotas benefited students from Bamyan (8); Parwan (14); Panjshir (4); Daikundi (3); Kapisa (8), were declared successful to be enrolled at the faculty. Out of the 37 students, none of them have scored more than 300, with only two of them have scored more than 270. The rest have scored in the range of 164 to 270 in the regional competition.

While engineering faculty of Takhar University has an admission capacity of 130 seats for new students, 176 Kankor takers, including 46 quota benefited students from Badakhshan (12); Baghlan (10); Takhar (12); Kunduz (12), were declared to study at the faculty. Out of the 46 students, ten of them have scored 274 to 251 and the rest have scored in range of 150 to 251.

What is wrong with regional-based quota system?

With giving priority to those students who have poor performance, the region-based quota system appears to prioritize the Kochis, the Pashtun nomadic tribes who are not based in a region.  Being mentioned as beneficiaries of the quotas in each of the eight regions, Kochi can enjoy quotas in all across the country. It is not, however, clear how many of quota has been given to the Kochis in each region.

In addition, the quota of Kochi is not clear. Based on MP-criteria, the Kochis have 10 seats in the Parliament, should be given 170 seats in top universities of the country.

An official letter obtained by Kabul Now, reveals that there is an agreement on inclusion of Kochis into the 25 percent quota.  The letter shows that the Ministry of Higher Education, the NED, and the General Directorate for Arrangement of Kochi Affairs have reached on terms to include Kochis in the 25 percent quota too.  

The letter, numbered 627, has been issued on January 20, 2020 by the General Directorate of Arrangement of Kochi Affairs and addressed to the NED.

The General Directorate of Arrangement of Kochi Affairs are trying to provide a list of school-graduate Kochis to the NED to include them in the 25 percent quota of their respective regions. Dost Mohammad Faizi, spokesperson for NED, however, said that instruction of the letter is not imperative as it is not in accordance with rules, regulations, and procedures of the NED.

This report has developed by Etilaat-e-Roz’s Esmatullah Soroush. Mokhtar Yasa has translated it into English.    

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