Reopening of girls’ schools under consideration: Education Minister

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The acting Minister of Education, Mawlawi Habibullah Agha, said that the reopening of girls’ schools beyond grade six is being considered.

The acting education minister made the remarks in a visit to the central province of Bamiyan. Habibullah Agha said that the problems existing within the educational sector will be addressed soon.

“We will make a special mechanism for the girls’ schools. We will not plan it without any mechanism as in the previous government. The boys and girls were together. The Islamic system doesn’t allow it,” he said.

Meanwhile, female students above grade six expressed frustration over their uncertain future, calling on the Islamic Emirate to reopen their schools.

“The girls above grade six are deprived of school and are living in an uncertain fate. We call for the reopening of the schools,” said Zakia, a student.

Nargis, one of the students not allowed to attend school, is currently working at a shop in the Goshta area of Kabul.

“Since the schools remained closed, I am shopping here. I don’t like to work in the shop, I want to study,” she said.

Earlier, speaking at the gathering of the Union of Scholars and Madrasas (İttihad’ul Ulema), the Islamic Emirate’s Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the reopening of the girls’ school is definite, however he didn’t give a certain time about its reopening.

Meanwhile, some religious clerics in the province of Faryab said that girls’ and women’s education has a special place in Islam and that women shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to pursue an education.

They once again asked the leadership of the Islamic Emirate to reopen girls’ schools above the sixth grade across the country. “As the male class is a body of society, women are also half of the body of society, and Islam has given a special place for girls in the framework of religion,” said Sayed Abdul Moqeet Faizi, religious cleric.

“At first, the number of girls from the first to the sixth grade was quite high; however, after they heard that girls over the sixth grade till 12 are not allowed, they grew less interested,” said Firoza Kaihan, head of teachers in one of Faryab’s schools. “I ask the Islamic Emirate to let girls continue their studies and come to school,” said Aiqai, a student.

Meanwhile, some local officials in Faryab said that the majority of families of the students asked them to reopen schools for the girls above sixth grade. “Many people come, especially over the reopening of girls’ schools, they want the reopening of schools,” said Mohammad Ismail Saadat, governor of Qaisar district.

“Girls above the sixth grade came to me several times asking when our schools will open, when should we come, will we be permitted to come?,” the head teacher of the girls’ high school in Faryab, Abdul Haq, said.

According to representatives of the Faryab department of education, efforts are being made to reopen secondary and high schools for girls. “We are working to have the environment ready for them. When the environment is ready, they will go back to their schools,” said Zahidullah Zahid, an official of the Faryab Department of Education. It has been nearly 400 days since girls’ schools above the sixth grade were closed down, and it is still unknown when these schools will reopen.—Tolonews

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