UK parliamentarian Gill says education key to future

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Member of the UK Parliament, Preet Gill called on Islamic Emirate to consider the value of education for the future of Afghanistan.

Gill, who is also the Shadow Minister for International Development, made the remarks in an interview with TOLOnews.

“My humble request to the de facto government is you know please, please consider the value of education. Think about your children and think about the importance for the future of Afghanistan. If we don’t educate our population, we can’t create those future leaders, future economists and the people that make our countries great and help transform them. So that is really, really important and it is something I will continue to speak up for,” she said.

The caretaker government has repeatedly said that the decision to reopen the girls’ schools belongs to the leadership of the Islamic Emirate.

The schools for female students beyond grade six have been closed for more than 270 days.

Sumaya, a student of grade eight, is dreaming for a bright future. Sumaya said that she has not gone to her school over the past 10 months.

“School is our right. We should go to the school. Now would be time for our mid-year exams. The basic rights of the girls is education,” she said.

The closure of the school has faced widespread reactions inside and outside Afghanistan.

“It is very embarrassing that the international community is insisting that we provide educational opportunity for our sisters and daughters or our children. We should have this capacity and talent ourselves to facilitate this opportunity for our children and not allow anyone else to tell us to do it,” said Abdul Zahir Qadir, former deputy spokesman of the parliament.

The Islamic Emirate said that the final decision about the reopening of girls schools above grade six has not been finalized.

“There is nothing in this regard as of now. I depend on the statement of the Ministry of Education,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

The deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Sher Mohammad Abas Stanekzai emphasized the need for women’s access to education, saying that it is necessary to pave the way for the education of men and women.

The schools for female students beyond grade six have remained closed for more than 270 days.

Speaking at a gathering in Kabul at the inauguration of “Afghan Invest”, Stanekzai said the Islamic Emirate is committed to the education of men and women.

“It is mandatory for us to provide educational opportunities for every man and woman of this country. This is their natural and Islamic right,” Stanekzai said.

He urged the Afghanistan academic figures abroad to return to the country.

“We should make our society a place where the education is provided and everyone plays their role in the economic, political, reconstruction and trade of the country,” Stanekzai said.

Kelly T. Clements, Deputy High Commissioner of UNHCR, praised the Afghan girls for their courage in seeking a brighter life.

“I am leaving with great hope. I have to say the women here are incredibly… they talked about the education, they talked about the need for livelihoods,” she said.

Meanwhile, some students said that the closure of schools has affected their motivation and morale. “When we see the situation is being continued with such difficulties, we can’t have a hope for education,” said Yaman, a student.

“The schools above grade six are closed for all girls, this has an impact on the motivation of girls,” said Beheshta Nasiri, a student.—Tolonews