Taliban orders girls’ high schools to stay closed, making students cry

Taliban orders girls’ high schools to stay closed, making students cry
Taliban fighters. AP video

Today, the Taliban backtracked on its earlier announcement that high schools in Afghanistan would reopen to female students, Reuters reports. Female students were turned away from the schools today, as the Afghan Education Ministry said they would remain closed to girls until a plan was made “in accordance with Islamic law and Afghan culture.”

The Taliban would really prefer that no girls go to school, but they would also like international aid, which might be easier to get if they let some more girls attend school in Afghanistan’s cities.

Female students in sixth grade and beyond have not been able to attend school since the Taliban seized power in August 2021. As Reuters reports, that ban will now continue:

The u-turn took many by surprise, leaving students in tears and drawing condemnation from humanitarian agencies, rights groups and diplomats at a time when the Taliban administration is seeking international recognition.

Teachers and students from three high schools around the capital Kabul said girls had returned in excitement to campuses on Wednesday morning, but were ordered to go home. They said many students left in tears.

“We all became totally hopeless when the principal told us, she was also crying,” said a student, not being named for security reasons.

The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, they banned female education and most employment….

Sixteen-year-old Khadija went to school on Wednesday having stayed up all night in excitement after seven months at home. But just minutes after lining up with her classmates for a welcoming speech, the school’s assistant manager instead approached the students, crying, and broke the news they had to leave.

“We couldn’t believe we face such conditions… it was like a mourning day. Everyone was crying and hugging each other,” she said.

Returning home, she unpacked her books from her bag and tried to imagine how she could stay motivated, by teaching younger children in her neighbourhood to help her remember her lessons. Still, she said the disappointment was hard to overcome.

“I would like to be a doctor in the future but for now I have no hope, I am like a dead body,” she said.


LU Staff

LU Staff

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