A report prepared by a presidential task team assigned to investigate reports of ghost schools, teachers and students reveals that there are hundreds of ghost schools and thousands of ghost teachers and students recorded around the country.
The report, which was leaked to TOLOnews, also states that millions of dollars has been embezzled from within in the education system.
The report also stated that the father of a suicide bomber was included in the list of teachers in the administrative structure of the ministry of education but that his salary was not paid over to him.
The president appears however to be opposed to releasing the results of the report to the media but the presidential palace says details will be made public within the next two days.
Meanwhile the report indicates that those who prepared it came up with different statistics compared to what was provided to them by some education departments.
For instance, the planning department of Kandahar says that the number of inactive schools in Kandahar province is about 158 schools, but Kandahar education department says the number is closer to 150 schools while Kandahar Security Department reported the figure to be 149. But the team found in fact that 224 schools closed down in Kandahar.
The report also shows the existence of thousands of ghost teachers among the official figure of 260,000 teachers employed by the administrative structure of the ministry of education.
The report says that 40,000 teachers employed as such are contractors and other professions.
The report also argues the statements by former education officials that around 11 million students are getting education at schools across the country – only nine million are actually registered at schools. The report says that of those nine million, only about eight million actually attend class.
The report also states there are over 1,000 incomplete projects belonging to the ministry of education – despite these projects having been reported as complete by the ministry.
In addition, the task team found that millions of dollars has been embezzled within the ministry of education under the pretext of printing new school books. However piles of books lie stockpiled in the ministry.
The report states that 110 projects related to the ministry of education still remains incomplete despite the ministry claiming in 2007 that the projects were completed.
The report also criticizes $15,000 a month salaries to a number of individuals who are appointed as advisors.
The report states that between 2013 and 2015, 340 people were paid a total of $100 million USD collectively.
The report also discloses that scholarships were offered to certain individuals, that ghost training seminars were reported in some provinces and that houses were rented for schools at huge expense.
However, critics are asking why government is silent on this matter and not disclosing details.
"For the sake of social justice and the clarity of the case, the issue must be investigated seriously," Ghulam Hussain Fakhri, head of the High Office of Anti-Corruption and Oversight said.
Meanwhile, a top government official speaking on condition of anonymity said that political issues have resulted in the report being kept secret.
"The institutions involved in this respect are used as tools. Sometimes they work against a certain official and sometimes against its political rivals. Whenever they want to mount pressure on the opponent, they again start assessing these cases and when the situation is in their side, they ignore it," the source said.
The Presidential Palace says however that President Ashraf Ghani has studied the report and ordered more assessments to be conducted.
"The investigation and findings were preliminary; therefore we preferred to launch an independent inquiry by the Presidential Palace. We can only take future actions on the basis of the new investigation," deputy presidential spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said.
However, no comment was immediately forthcoming from former minister of education Farooq Wardak on these latest allegations.
He has said in the past the "I challenge the current [education] minister, SIGAR, Americans and the international community to find a teacher that a salary had been transferred under his name but he had not actually received the money or the money had gone to the pocket of former ministers."