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Afghan schoolgirls conclude sixth grade in tears, facing Taliban education ban

AT News

KABUL – In a heartbreaking turn of events, Afghan schoolgirls are concluding their sixth-grade education in tears, as the Taliban imposes a strict ban on further studies for girls. This distressing development follows the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan in September 2021 after two decades of war.

The Taliban’s announcement in September 2021 prohibited girls from pursuing education beyond the sixth grade, dealing a severe blow to their academic aspirations. Shockingly, this ban was extended to universities in December 2022, despite widespread global condemnation and warnings of potential repercussions for the Taliban’s legitimacy.

UN special envoy Roza Otunbayeva has expressed deep concern over the alarming educational setback for a generation of Afghan girls. The Taliban’s defiance of international criticism and their persistence in enforcing restrictive measures raise fears of a significant setback in the progress made in women’s education.

Recent reports from the Education Ministry suggest that Afghan girls are allowed to attend religious schools, traditionally reserved for boys and known as madrassas. However, uncertainties persist regarding the presence of a standardized curriculum that includes modern subjects.

Analyst Muhammad Saleem Paigir has warned of the disastrous consequences of excluding women and girls from education, emphasizing the link between literacy and freedom. “We understand that illiterate people can never be free and prosperous,” he remarked, highlighting the importance of education in fostering a thriving society.

As the Taliban continues to restrict women’s access to public spaces and most jobs, effectively confining them to their homes, the international community remains deeply concerned about the implications of these oppressive measures on the future of Afghanistan.

This unfolding situation underscores the urgent need for global attention and concerted efforts to address the severe challenges faced by Afghan girls in their pursuit of education under the oppressive rule of the Taliban.

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