A Master’s programme is needed for the Afghan police trainers: BG Kohdamani

Kabul, February 2016. The professional training and education of the Afghan National Police (ANP) is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the international community. General Training Command (GTC) operating under the Deputy Minister of Interior (Administration) and supported by EUPOL, is the entity responsible for coordination, planning and overseeing of the training activities of the ANP. The Acting Commander of GTC, Brigadier General Sardar Mohammad Kohdamani believes that the ANP is capable for taking responsibility of the police training. At the same time he sees the need for international cooperation especially in the field of the post-graduate capacity building of the trainers. 

“GTC is covering all the training activities of the ANP in order to develop the capacity building of the Afghan police at all ranks, from sergeant to general”, says BG Kohdamani who has a broad experience of teaching criminology and police tactics for the last 25 years. Kohdamani explains that there are 12 permanent and big police training centres in Afghanistan. On top of that there are seven specialised centres for short-term training which provide courses related mostly to public protection, fire and disaster policing, counternarcotic and intelligence.

“The biggest training centre is the Afghan National Police Academy (ANPA) in Kabul; every year 400 - 500 students at bachelor’s level graduate from this institution to become commissars or officers. There are police training centres also in Mazar-e Sharif, Wardak, Gardez, Herat, Kunduz, Nangrahar, Parwan and Lashkargah”, says BG Kohdamani.

The Crime Management College (CrMC), which is one of the ANPA’s specialised departments in in-service training for CID officers, was created in close cooperation between EUPOL, EU Delegation and the MoI. CrMC was fully funded by the EU and the project was led by EUPOL until the handover to the Afghan partners in February 2014. “CrMC provides specialist training for the Afghan police at an international standard level”, states Kohdamani.

Two other training centres in Kabul are the Central Training Centre and the Police Staff College (PStC). The concept for the PStC was fostered by EUPOL and developed in partnership with the MoI. Also the PStC was funded by the European Union and implemented by International Organisation for Migration (IOM). PSC has been operational since February 2014 and provides a wide range of learning opportunities, for example, leadership and management training as well as gender and human rights and community policing courses. BG Kohdamani adds that PStC has even managed to organise night-shift training programmes for the police at bachelor’s level.

When it comes to community policing training, the courses at PStC are good but more is needed. BG Kohdamani has personally participated at the huge process of spreading the community policing awareness in the provinces: “I have joined the Head of Police-e Mardume (PeM, community policing), Brigadier General Humayoon Ayni, to the provinces of Afghanistan to explain the Community Policing concept to the Afghan police. Police-e Mardume provided by the ANP is much more than providing security in an area, it is law enforcement which is the real job of the ANP. To do it, the Afghan police have to gain the trust of the people. And the people must also work with the police.”

Both CrCM and PStC are run by the Afghans which is a good example of transition of activities from EUPOL to the Afghan partners.  BG Kohdamani states: “Providing security is not our only responsibility because now when planning and delivering the police training is transferred to the Afghans, we have to ensure that we keep these activities going on forever.”

According to Kohdamani, the police training provided by Afghan trainers is satisfactory and the GTC is capable to draft curricula and standard manuals for the training programmes, courses and workshops. However, for further education of the trainers, a Master’s programme needs to be started in close cooperation with the international specialists. “For postgraduate studies, the Afghan police trainers must attend master’s classes. For the time being, until we get our own MA programme, the trainers must go abroad to seek this knowledge.”

Recruitment of the ANP teachers and ensuring the proper selection of students have been challenging at times and that is why EUPOL has put effort to support the General Training Command to create standardised target group descriptions to ensure that right people are invited to right courses. And lately there have been improvement in the invitation letters for police officers going for further training. Special attention has been paid to female participation but there is still quite a way to go in terms of female police training. BG Kohdamani sees the lack of female police training facilities as the core of the problem: “There should be more well-equipped training centres for female police in Kabul and in the provinces. They are necessary if we want to recruit more female police and ensure the retention of female police.”