Afghanistan: Taliban finally ban girls from going back to school

Published on : Modified :

Only hours after announcing the reopening of middle and high schools for girls, the Taliban finally asked the students to return home the same day.

The Taliban reversed their decision. The girls who had returned to high school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Wednesday March 23, after the Taliban’s decision to reopen secondary school to girls in the country, more than seven months after the coming to power of the Islamists, had to turn back. The Taliban ordered the closure of middle and high schools for girls in Afghanistan the same day, just hours after they reopened, a Taliban official confirmed.

“Yes it’s true,” Taliban spokesman Inamullah Samangani told AFP without further comment, confirming reports that the girls had been asked to return home.

An AFP-TV team was filming a lesson in a class at Zarghona high school for girls in Kabul on Wednesday morning when a teacher entered and ordered the students to go home. The latter, who were rejoicing in their return to school for the first time since the Islamic fundamentalists seized power last August, closed their books, packed their things and left the classroom in tears. “We saw on local television very poignant scenes of young girls bursting into tears, who were delighted to finally be able to put their uniforms back on”, says Sonia Ghezali, correspondent in Islamabad for France 24.

“I saw my students cry and hesitate to leave class. It’s very painful to see your students cry,” said Palwasha, a teacher at the Omara Khan girls’ school, also in the capital. .

The right to education at the heart of the negotiations

“The situation is confused, the rule is not applied everywhere in the country. This is a big mess of the Taliban, continues Sonia Ghezali. It also reflects the idea that the leaders are not on the same wave length.”

The international community has made the right to education for all a stumbling block in negotiations on aid and recognition of the fundamentalist Islamist regime. Several countries and organizations have proposed paying teachers

The Ministry of Education had however announced the resumption of classes on Wednesday for girls in several provinces, except those of Kandahar, a southern city and cradle of the Taliban, which was to reopen next month. “We are not reopening schools to please the international community, nor to gain recognition from the world,” ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmad Rayan told AFP. “We do this as part of our responsibility to provide education and educational facilities for our students,” he added.

The Taliban had insisted they wanted to take the time to ensure that girls aged 12 to 19 would be kept separate from boys and that schools would operate according to Islamic principles.

Before the Taliban’s about-face, girls interviewed by AFP when schools opened said they were “happy” to return to class and even thanked the authorities.

With AFP

Leave a Reply