Committee formed to reopen girls’ schools: Islamic Emirate

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The Islamic Emirate said it has formed a committee of eight members to facilitate the reopening of girls’ schools.

The committee will be chaired by the Supreme Judge, Abdul Hakim Haqqani, according to Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

“This committee has eight members. It includes clerics and scholars. The committee has done some work to reopen the girls’ high schools. We hope it can be solved in the near future,” he said. The female students above grade six have been banned from going to school for more than 250 days.

Meanwhile, girls said that they are fed up with the long delay in the reopening of girls’ school.

“These are just excuses they are making, moving the responsibility from one department to another. We want the schools to be reopened,” said Hadisa, a student.

“We can reach our dreams through school and can make progress. Without school we cannot contribute to any development,” said Oranous Sadat, a teacher.

This comes as women held a protest in the capital city of Kabul and called for the reopening of girls’ school.

“This is to appeal for the reopening of schools. For the past nine months, the children of this land have been deprived of education due to Gender apartheid,” said Monisa Mubariz, a protester.

The closing of schools for female students above grade six has caused strong reactions at national and international level since the Islamic Emirate swept into power.

According to a previous announcement by the Ministry of Education and statements from a number of officials of the Islamic Emirate, all schools–for both boys and girls–were supposed to reopen on Wednesday, the first day of the school year in Afghanistan.

However, on Wednesday girls over grade 6 were not allowed to enter their classes. Only in Herat and Badghis provinces were all girls allowed to attend schools.

In some schools in Kabul, girls attended their classes for a few hours but later were told to return to their houses and wait until further notice.

This has sparked international reactions. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said: “The UN in Afghanistan deplores today’s reported announcement by the Taliban that they are further extending their indefinite ban on female students above the 6th grade being permitted to return school.”

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in a statement said today’s decision “casts a dark shadow” on the school year in Afghanistan. NRC’s Secretary General Jan Egeland said: “We hope the deeply concerning announcement by the Ministry of Education will be reversed. We expect the Taliban government to allow all girls and boys across the whole country to resume their complete education cycle, in line with earlier public assurances they have given. Limiting girls’ schooling to primary education will devastate their future and the future of Afghanistan.”

The US special envoy for Afghan girls, women and human rights, Rina Amiri, who is tasked with promoting human rights in Afghanistan, also reacted. “The reported failure to open schools for girls above grade 6 across the country not only weakens confidence in the Taliban’s commitments but further dashes the hopes of families for a better future for their daughters,” she said on Twitter.

The US Chargé d’Affaires Ian McCary said the failure to reopen girls’ schools was disappointing and contradicts many assurances and statements made by the Islamic Emirate on girls’ education.

Germany’s ambassador-designate to Afghanistan, Markus Potzel, said the issue was “deeply disturbing” and contradicts the Islamic Emirate officials’ previous statements. “This is not only a blow for all Afghan girls who want to attend schools, universities, have career perspectives, but also contradicts the previous announcements made by the Islamic Emirate.”—Tolonews

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