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Girl students participate in 12th grade exam today

AT

Kabul: The Ministry of Education (MoE) said in a statement recently that girls will write their Grade 12 exam on Wednesday, December 7.

According to two documents from the Taliban ministry of education, the decision applies to 31 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces where the winter school break starts in late December.

Afghan girls will be allowed to take their high school graduation exams this week, an official and documents from the Taliban government indicated Tuesday — even though they have been banned from classrooms since the they took over the country last year.

Ehsanullah Kitab, head of the Kabul education department, said the exams would take place on Wednesday. He provided no other details and it was not clear how many teenage girls would be able to take the exam.

One of the documents, from the Kabul education department, said the exams would last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A second document, signed by Habibullah Agha, the education minister who took office in September, said the tests would be held in 31 Afghan provinces. The three excluded provinces — Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz — have a different timetable for the school year and high school graduation exams typically take place there later.

“This is ridiculous,” said 18-year-old Najela from Kabul. She would now be in twelfth grade and eligible for the exam. “We spent a whole year under tension and stress and haven’t read a single page of our textbooks.”

“How can we possibly take an exam after a year and a half that school doors kept close,” she added.

A Kabul high school principal said she was informed that twelfth grade girls will have just one day to take exams in 14 subjects, with 10 questions in each subject. The principal said most girl students lacked textbooks.

The incumbent government treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan has come under heavy criticism by of U.N. experts and other human rights organizations, an allegation rejected by Afghan governing body.

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