No girls, says Afghanistan, as secondary schools reopen

  • Secondary schools, with students typically between the ages of 13 and 18, are often segregated by sex in Afghanistan.
The Taliban allowed boys in classes six to 12 to attend school and male teachers to resume teaching across Afghanistan from Saturday but have not said when girls could return. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo
The Taliban allowed boys in classes six to 12 to attend school and male teachers to resume teaching across Afghanistan from Saturday but have not said when girls could return. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo
Published on Sep 18, 2021 11:12 PM IST
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Agencies | , Kabul/afghanistan

Girls were excluded from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan on Saturday, after the country’s Taliban rulers ordered only boys and male teachers back to the classroom.

“All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,” a statement from the education ministry said ahead of classes resuming on Saturday. The statement, issued on Friday, made no mention of women teachers or girl pupils.

Secondary schools, with students typically between the ages of 13 and 18, are often segregated by sex in Afghanistan. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they have faced repeated closures and have been shut since the Taliban seized power.

The United Nations said it was “deeply worried” for the future of girls’ schooling in Afghanistan. “It is critical that all girls, including older girls, are able to resume their education without any further delays. For that, we need female teachers to resume teaching,” the UN’s children’s agency Unicef said.

Primary schools have already reopened, with boys and girls mostly attending separate classes and some women teachers returning to work. The country’s new regime has also permitted women to go to private universities.

In a further sign that the Taliban’s approach to women and girls hasn’t softened, they appeared to have shut down the government’s ministry of women’s affairs and replaced it with a department meant for enforcing strict religious doctrine during their first rule.

Videos posted on social media showed women workers from the ministry protesting outside after losing their jobs.

Pak supports inclusive Afghan government

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said he has “initiated a dialogue” with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghanistan government having Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in it, a day after SCO members sought representation for all ethnic, religious and political groups in the new dispensation.

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Friday, December 03, 2021