Clerics in Paktia call for girls’ schools to reopen

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Islamic scholars at a gathering in Paktia called for the reopening of schools for girls beyond grade six.

The calls to reopen schools, from various areas of Afghan society, come as girls’ schools have remained closed after more than 220 days.

The clerics issued a resolution comprised of five points calling on the Islamic Emirate to reopen the school for girls in grades 7-12.

“We, the religious clerics in Paktia, call on the Islamic Emirate to facilitate the grounds for the education of girls under an Islamic structure. Islam is committed to the education of girls but under an Islamic structure,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said the Islamic Emirate is close to a solution for reopening the school for girls. “When we ask the Minister (of Education), he told me the issue is close and a proper solution will be reached in the near future and that the girls will return to the school,” said Aziz Ahmad Riyan, a spokesman for the MoE.

The MoE said more than 20,000 schools are currently opened across the country.

“There are 20,000 schools in Afghanistan, of them 16,000 are governmental and more than 3,000 are private,” Riyan said. This comes as female students above grade six said they should be immediately allowed to go to school.

“I don’t want to be illiterate as my mother was illiterate due to the previous government,” said Zuhal Mahbob, a student.

Based on figures of the Ministry of Information and Culture, there are a total of 16,472 government schools currently open in the country. 8,280 of them are allotted for girls and 9,000 of them are for both male and female students. —TOLO