You might be interested to learn that Teachers College, Columbia University has a rich history of involvement in Afghanistan. Our faculty first went there in 1954 to re-organize the Ministry of Education; create and provide new textbooks in both the Dari and Pashto languages; and train teachers -- a significant educational effort that lasted roughly 25 years until the revolution and influence of the Taliban, the Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization. In the early 2000's, Teachers College went back, working on a new project headed by former Iran-held hostage and TC Head of Development and External Affairs Barry Rosen; retired TC Professor Margaret Jo Shepherd; and a group of Afghan Canadians; they built a new child-centered, culturally-sensitive curriculum in Afghanistan with child-centered pedagogy and textbooks, in collaboration with Afghan counterparts in the Ministry of Education. It is no mistake that changes in government are reflected in education, evident in the very process and products of learning.
After months of deliberations, the first presidential elections in Afghanistan were held on October 9th, 2004. Voters went to the polls and chose Harmid Karzai, son of the chief Popalzai Pashtuns, who served as interim president since the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001 and following the U.S. dominated military campaign aimed at the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Karzai won 21 of the 34 provinces; he defeated 22 opponents to become the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan in a safe, multi-ethnic election, despite fears of violence and insurgency.
Following Karzai's election, an investigation by the United Nations proved him to be the winner, regardless of voting irregularities, for he achieved over 55% of the vote.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Gall, C. (2004, Jul 09). Afghan Parliamentary Elections May Be Delayed Again: The Reach Of War: Afghan Elections, and American Vigilantes. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Kazem, H. (2004, Jul 13). Afghanistan's Off-Again, On-Again, Partial Elections: The Central Asian Nation Sets Oct. 9 for Their First Post-Taliban Presidential Elections. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Declaring Independence in Afghanistan. (2004, Jul 28). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Roy, R. (2004, Oct 06). New Hope in a Fractured Land: Afghanistan's Tryst With Democracy. The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Baldauf, S. (2004, Oct 08). Afghans Vote, Ready Or Not: In a Historic Step For Their War Weary Nation, Some 10 Million Afghans Are Set to Cast Their First Ever Ballots For President Tomorrow. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- At Last, An Election For Afghanistan: Learning With The Times. (2004, Oct 11). The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Roy, R. (2004, Oct 22). Karzai Must Muster Skills To Extend His Writ. The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Roy, R. (2004, Oct 23). Kabul Chalo: How To Deal With the Good, Bad and Ugly Taliban. The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Karzai Wins, Awaits Review. (2004, Oct 25). The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Gall, C. (2004, Nov 04). Election of Karzai Is Declared Official: Reach Of War: A Gritty Battle, a Political Advance. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Now, Afghanistan Needs a Parliament. (2004, Dec 08). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Riedel, B. (2009, Aug 31). A Global Concern: Afghanistan's Election Results May Show Which Side Is Winning the War. The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Stories Worth Telling: US AID in Afghanistan. Edlab blog.
- Afghanistan Elections 2004. Wikimedia Commons
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of Edlab Studios
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