News: Coalition improves oversight of literacy contracts and training programs
KABUL, Afghanistan – The International Security Assistance Force announced it has implemented new literacy and language training contracts for the Afghan National Security Forces to improve delivery and oversight of the services purchased. The new contracts were awarded as ISAF has identified shortfalls in the terms and conditions of the initial service contract.
Under the new contracts, metrics for service delivery and performance are more stringent. The scope and duration of the contracts are narrower which will lead to efficiencies in delivery and performance.
“These measures will not only improve fiscal oversight, they will ensure that we build upon the gains we have achieved in providing formal literacy training to more than 382,500 Afghan soldiers and police,” said Maj. Gen. Dean Milner, commander, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan. “Literacy is a powerful capability that contributes not only to the professionalism of the ANSF, but to the strengthening of Afghan society.”
To further the literacy program, the coalition has improved the training of Contracting Officer’s Representatives to more effectively monitor the delivery of contracts and related performance metrics. Internal control mechanisms are also in place to ensure that training services are delivered and overall program objectives are met.
The coalition strives to achieve the best possible balance between results for the Afghan Security Forces and the efficient use of U.S. and international funds. As a result of new practices and improved oversight, the program has realized a savings of more than $19 million. Funding of the literacy and language program has also been re-aligned from U.S. to the NATO ANA Trust Fund.
The coalition is advising the ANSF leadership to ensure that the full transfer of literacy and language training programs in Dec. 2014 is not only successful, but enduring. The agreed way forward will be through a Train the Trainer program. This approach will develop a corps of 2,500 literacy instructors selected from within the ANSF who can then provide Ministry of Education-approved literacy training to their fellow soldiers and police personnel. The initiative will ensure the transition is viable from a human resource and a fiscal stewardship perspective as teaching resources will be provided from within the ANSF itself, at little to no additional salary cost.
Since 2009, the literacy and language training program has qualified 233,600 students at Level 1; 98,700 at Level 2; and 76,800 at Level 3. Currently, the international coalition funds Afghan instructors to teach ANSF personnel how to read and write in Dari or Pashtu at centers located throughout the country. More than 1,900 students are currently receiving English language training at several learning centers in Afghanistan.
ISAF integrates the recommendations of internal and external agencies to improve stewardship of U.S. and coalition funds while providing the resources Afghan forces need to protect their people and secure their nation.