News | Education
17 Oct 2021 9:38
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  •   Home > News > Education

    Taliban begin to reopen Afghan schools with older girls so far excluded from study

    Some Afghan girls return to primary schools with gender-segregated classes, but older girls face an anxious wait with no clarity over if and when they will resume their studies at the secondary school level.

    Some Afghan girls have returned to primary schools with gender-segregated classes, but older girls face an anxious wait with no clarity over if and when they can resume secondary school studies. 

    Most schools in the capital Kabul were shut since the Taliban captured the city just over a month ago, but now only boys and male teachers have been allowed back into secondary school classrooms. 

    Many fear a return of the regime of the 1990s when the Taliban severely restricted girls' and women's rights, excluding them from education.

    Under their new government, Taliban officials said women would be allowed to study and work in accordance with the group's interpretation of Islamic religious law.

    But Afghan women's rights activist, Zarqa Yaftali, believes it is clear they are not staying true to their promise. 

    "They do not value Afghan women and want all Afghan women and girls to live in a kind of darkness," she said.

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the local Bakhtar News Agency on Saturday that arrangements were being made to reopen girls' secondary schools but he gave no date.

    Taliban officials said previously that girls would only be able to study in segregated classrooms.

    In many parts of the country, schools were already segregated, but in the larger cities and in universities, classes were often mixed.

    Nazife, a teacher at a private school in Kabul that had mixed classrooms before the Taliban takeover, said they had made changes in order to reopen.

    "Girls study in the morning and boys in the afternoon," she said.

    "Male teachers teach boys and female teachers teach girls."

    However, there was uncertainty for many other girls at the school, which teaches at both primary and secondary level.

    On Friday the education ministry said boys' secondary schools would soon reopen, but made no mention of girls.

    "Their spirits are down and they are waiting for government announcements so they can resume studying," said Hadis Rezaei, who teaches the school's female secondary-level pupils.

    "The education of girls is fixing a generation. The education of boys may affect a family but the education of girls affects society," said the school's principal, Mohammadreza.

    "We are very closely following the matter so that girls can resume their education and complete their studies." 


    © 2021 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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