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Afghan girls complain about the worst year for students

The Ministry of Education (MoE) said it will reopen girls’ schools next year after implementing a new approach.

Officials at the Ministry of Education admitted that they failed to reopen girls’ school for many reasons in the 1400 solar year, but girls from grades 7 to 12 can resume their education at the beginning of the new year.

“All schools are going to be opened for girls in the next year, when the ‘plan for reopening’ is finalized,” said Nazar Mohammad Erfan, spokesman of the ministry.

“Girls have the right to learn, but we cannot provide a system which is accessible for girls such as in Western countries,” said Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Meanwhile, Afghan girls called on the government and the international community to stay focused on girls’ education.

Parneyan, grade 8, is concerned for her education. “It has been more than three months since we were banned from attending school, the Islamic Emirate makes promises, but it has not fulfilled them,” said Parniyan.

“We faced an unclear future, we ask the international community to press the Taliban to reopen schools,” said Bahara, a student.

School teachers have posed the same demands. “Salaries are delayed, we ask the world to hear our voice,” said Zuhal Omarzada, a teacher.

When the Islamic Emirate took power, universities and schools shut down across Afghanistan, soon after, however, schools reopened for boys of all ages and for girls up to grade 6.

At the end of solar year 1400, the annual examinations were cancelled in many provinces and schoolgirls were inducted directly into the next grade.

The outbreak of COVID-19 and recent political changes have hurt Afghanistan’s education over the last two years.