Report Questions Afghan Troop Literacy Training

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
A U.S. funded program to teach all Afghan soldiers basic literacy is falling well short of its goal, according to federal inspectors.

An Afghan National Army soldier carries his rockets while on patrol in Logar province, east Afghanistan, Thursday, May 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Federal inspectors say a $200 million U.S. program to improve the literacy of Afghan soldiers has had limited impact and most likely won't hit its goals.

The NATO-led coalition had set a goal of having 100 percent of Afghan security forces reach basic literacy -- the equivalent of first-grade level -- by the end of 2014 and set up a literacy training program via three U.S.-funded contracts.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in a report released Tuesday that officials responsible for the program estimated that half of the security force was illiterate as of February 2013 and that reaching 100 percent literacy might be "unrealistic."

It questioned NATO's assertion the program has been successful, saying its ability to measure improved literacy rates is "limited."

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