Dar al-Moʿallamin

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Teacher-training school in Afghanistan.

The first Dar al-Moʿallami (House of teachers) teacher-training school was established in Kabul in 1914 by Amir Habibollah (19011909), who sought to bring the secular European pedagogy and curriculum to Afghanistan. Initially, students received three years of instruction after having had six years of primary-school education, but the system was changed during the reign of King Amanollah (19191929) so that students enter the Dar al-Moʿallami after nine years of primary school.

Dar al-Moʿallamis were established in other major provincial centers of Afghanistan and by 1970 there were fourteen institutions teaching more than 5,000 students annually. Because most of the Dar al-Moʿallamis were boarding schools, they have played an important part in educating rural youth sent to provincial centers to be educated. They have also served a political function in Afghanistan because public-school teachers form an important segment of the Afghan intelligentsia and have been an influential political force. Dar al-Moʿallami students participated in the student demonstrations during the late 1970s. As a result, the Dar al-Moʿallamis were closed for some time. During the chaos of the fighting of 1980s and the Taliban rule of the 1990s the students and the teachers of the Dar alMoʿallamis fled or were unable to teach, and the Dar al-Moʿallamis ceased to function, as did all of Afghanistan's educational system. Although teacher training is again a high priority for the Afghan government, the old Dar al-Moʿallami system has been largely abandoned and teacher training has been taken over by the University of Kabul School of Education.


Adamec, Ludwig W. Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan, 2d edition. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1997.

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