Police Staff College teachers: Civilianisation of the Afghan National Police is our main goal

Kabul, April 2016. The Police Staff College (PSC) is a centre of excellence for the Afghan National Police (ANP) training, fostered by EUPOL in 2010 and developed in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI). The PSC provides a wide range of specialised training in leadership, management, gender and human rights awareness, intelligence-led policing and community policing alongside a bachelor’s degree programme. Other ANP training institutions, such as the Afghan National Police Academy and the regional ANP training centres are benefiting from the PSC support. The college distinguishes itself by focusing on the civilianisation of the ANP and the lengthy process of converting the Afghan police from para-military engagement into a civilian policing services.

EUPOL Afghanistan, through its ANP Training and Professionalisation Component supports the MoI to enhance the capabilities of the ANP. In addition to that, the Reform Component encourages the development of ministerial leadership capabilities to facilitate both organisational and individual improvement within the MoI and the ANP.

The Head of PSC General Education Lieutenant Colonel Amanullah Asadyar has an extensive 28 years police experience and considers the PSC a professional training institution. “The courses in sociology, management, Islamic culture, policy and strategy, English language and information technology boost the capacity of the ANP, enabling them to focus on enforcing the rule of law instead of fighting as an army force.” In order to be promoted from captain to major ranks, the ANP officers are taking a six-month programme. Moreover, during night shifts, nearly 200 students are attending a four-year bachelor’s degree programme.  

Lieutenant Colonel Asadyar also identified a number of challenges with regards to the budget and bachelor’s degree certificates. “The PSC requires an independent budget for running the college as well as for planning and organising the training programmes. The current state of play of being under the influence of key individuals for every step we take is time consuming.” He also perceives the standardisation of merit-based recruitment of teachers as an ongoing and long-lasting process. “The trainers must be appointed based on their education and experience. On the other hand, as a national institution, the MoI, in close cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education should verify the diplomas and certificates of night-shift bachelor’s degree graduates.”

Colonel Gul Mohammad Shegiwal is one of the PSC’s sociology trainers with 31 years work experience in various ANP departments and extensive knowledge of ANP training and education. He has trained nearly one thousand police trainers during the last couple of years as part of EUPOL-supported Train-the-Trainers programme which focused on the pedagogical aspects of training. “The civilianisation of the Afghan police and the enhancement of their professional skills is our main goal. We try to sustain the Afghan police through training and education by incorporating training on sociology and human rights in our curricula so that the Afghan police officers can understand and perform their main duty which is the implementation of law.”  

Lieutenant Colonel Asadyar also shares the same thought as Colonel Shegiwal and states: “The police should be impartial, free of any political affiliation. The ANP are part of the Afghan society to serve the people. For this reason, not only training and education for the ANP, but also the community policing process will surely change their performance and mind-set of the Afghan citizens.”