English is the means of international communication. Therefore, it is necessary for a number of Afghan security personnel to be able to speak English. For this purpose, there are currently five government-run English language training centres in Kabul.
The first English training centre was opened by the NATO training mission in Afghanistan in 2010. Now, the final one under NATO control has recently been transferred to the Afghan National Army.
“The importance of this for Afghans is for international communication, particularly Air Operations in which the official language is English,” said Canadian Army Brigadier General Simon Hetherington, Deputy Chief of Staff for the NATO training mission. “It’s important that they have the capability to train their own people to speak English to enable them to operate internationally.”
Afghan soldiers use the training to establish and maintain relationships with partnered nations whose primary language may be English.
“English literacy will open many doors for our personnel to be able to go abroad for training in their specialties with other countries,” said ANA Colonel Habiburahman Totakhil, a director with the Afghan Foreign Language Institute (AFLI).
Totakhil expressed optimism in the new opportunities available to the ANA and Afghanistan as a country with English language training centres now under their control.
“The function of AFLI is to train ANA personnel to communicate with our foreign allies. We can then prepare them for follow-on training to go abroad for job training,” Totakhil said. “In the 21st century technology is predominantly in English, and so our personnel must know the language in order to use that technology.”
Totakhil expressed gratitude for the contributions of allied nations who have made sacrifices to help the people of Afghanistan.
“We appreciate all the hard work and dedication of our foreign allies who are here working with us side-by-side; and we will still need NTMA support in the future,” Totakhil said.