PESHAWAR: The Taliban’s Minister of Education Noorullah Munir said that girls’ schools will be reopened ‘soon’ and there was high hope that female students will return to schools in the spring, with the start of the new academic year.
The Afghanistan state news agency reported that Munir met with the United Nation special Representative in Afghanistan Deborah Lines and United National International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) representative in Kabul Adriana Vogelaar on 20 January.
The minister for education was quoted as saying: ”We are going to open girls’ schools out of our own responsibility and commitment, instead of being pressured by foreigners.”
The United Nations has repeatedly called on the Taliban to allow girls to attend school, however since taking over Afghanistan on 15 August, last year, the Taliban have only opened girls school up to 6th grade. The have recently announced that they are preparing policy for the female education after which all the institutions would be opened for girls.
Deborah Lines, the United Nation special envoy to Afghanistan, also called for the opening of girls’ schools in a speech to the Taliban’s first economic conference in Kabul yesterday addressing the gathering, Lines has said: “The country’s economy can only improve if we all work together. The education process needs to start soon and women’s rights need to be taken care of.”
During the last few months of Taliban rule, girls above the sixth grade have not been allowed to attend school on the pretext that new policies are being formulated and girls’ schools will be reopened ‘soon’. One of major demand of the Taliban by international community was that all girls’ schools be opened and women rights should be protected.
The UNICEF has said in November that more than four million for more than half of the Afghan children were deprived of education.