The Taliban closes Afghan girls’ schools hours after reopening | Taliban News

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Backtracking by the Taliban means female students above the sixth grade will not be able to attend school.

The Taliban administration in Afghanistan has announced that girls’ high schools will be closed, hours after they reopened for the first time in nearly seven months.

The backtracking by the Taliban means female students above the sixth grade will not be able to attend school.

A Ministry of Education notice said on Wednesday that schools for girls would be closed until a plan was drawn up in accordance with Islamic law and Afghan culture, according to Bakhtar News Agency, a government news agency.

“We inform all girls high schools and those schools that are having female students above class six that they are off until the next order,” said the notice.

“Yes, it’s true,” Taliban spokesman Inamullah Samangani told AFP when asked to confirm reports that girls had been ordered home.

He would not immediately explain the reasoning, while education ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmad Rayan said: “We are not allowed to comment on this.”

The Ministry of Education had announced last week that schools for all students, including girls, would open around the country on Wednesday after months of restrictions on education for high school-aged girls.

On Tuesday evening a ministry spokesman released a video congratulating all students on their return to class.

An AFP team was filming at Zarghona High School in the capital, Kabul, when a teacher entered and said the class was over.

Crestfallen students, back at school for the first time since the Taliban seized power in August last year, tearfully packed up their belongings and filed out.

Girls attend a class after their school reopening in Kabul on on Wednesday [Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP]

“I see my students crying and reluctant to leave classes,” said Palwasha, a teacher at Omra Khan girls’ school in Kabul.

“It is very painful to see your students crying.”

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

The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, it banned female education and most female employment. But after returning to power in August the group has promised opportunities for girls’ education and employment.

The international community has made the education of girls a key demand for any future recognition of the Taliban administration, which took over the country in August as foreign forces withdrew.

United Nations envoy Deborah Lyons called reports of the closure “disturbing”.

“If true, what could possibly be the reason?” she tweeted.

When the Taliban took over last August, schools were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but only boys and younger girls were allowed to resume classes two months later.

Hadia, 10, a 4th grade primary school student attends a class in Kabul, Afghanistan
The Taliban had insisted it wanted to ensure schools for girls aged 12 to 19 were segregated and would operate according to Islamic principles [File: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters]



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