Public universities to reopen, girl students included: Minister


The government will reopen public universities for male and female students soon, the Higher Education Minister said, without giving the exact date.

Since the Islamic Emirate came to power, the public universities have remained closed.

Talking to a press conference on Wednesday, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, Minister of Higher Education said that the classes of male and female students would be segregated.

“In the coming days, the Afghans will hear the news that the Islamic Emirate will reopen the public universities,” he said.

He cited the economic crisis and the lack of separated classes for male and female students as reasons for the delay.

Haqqani pledged that the government would form an international university.

“We also plan to establish an international university. The university will include Shariah, Medical, Agriculture and Engineering programs. Masters and PhD degrees will be offered in these four areas,” he said.

Some public university students said they have been living in uncertainty for the past six months since the Islamic Emirate closed the universities.

“These six months were a long period and will affect the student’s motivation,” said Matiullah Pirozi, a student.

“We are shocked that they cannot form a scheme in six months. The scheme could be easily formed,” said Mohammad Hilal, a student.

According to Haqqani, some regional countries pledged to provide educational scholarships for the Afghan students.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Higher Education announced that private universities and higher education institutions that are following the new gender format have reopened.

The acting Minister Abdul Baqi Haqani told TOLOnews that the male and female university students will be taught in separate classrooms, emphasizing that only female lecturers will be allowed to teach girls’ classes.

According to Haqani, joint classes are not acceptable at universities. He said: “Some of the universities are able to use separate buildings for girls, to teach the girls separately. But a number of universities do not have buildings, they can change the time of classes.”

Meanwhile, officials from the private universities and institutions said they were willing to implement the new format required by the ministry. The officials are worried about the girls’ low attendance at the universities.

The assistant chancellor for a private university, Zainulabuddin, said: “Among 2,000 students, only 20 of them came today. When we contacted some of the students, many said the security situation is the reason for their absence.”

Qudsia Ahmadi, who is the only girl in her class, expressed concern about the ongoing situation. She is studying medicine. She said: “The Taliban said they are not going to give big opportunities to women. At the end of our education we will not be able to find job opportunities, the issue worries us a lot.”

The state universities are still closed in Afghanistan. Based on the ministry’s announcements, government universities will open as soon as the separation of classes take place.


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