KABUL – In a major blow to education in Afghanistan, the Taliban have announced the closure of teacher training centers across the country, resulting in the loss of jobs for thousands of Afghan professionals many of whom women. The decision will have severe implications for the future of education, with the majority of trainees and aspiring teachers, particularly women, being adversely affected.
The Taliban’s decision was outlined in a letter from the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, citing teacher training centers as “ineffective” and “unnecessary.” As a result, 4,000 Afghan professionals who were running these centers now find themselves without employment prospects.
For almost two years, since the Taliban took control of the government, aspiring female teachers have been banned from pursuing education at these training centers. The move has not only deprived women of employment opportunities but has also dealt a significant blow to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country.
The Taliban’s plan to appoint staff members to religious schools and seminaries is causing concern among political activists. Many fear that the increase and prevalence of such institutions could fuel hatred and extremism among the youth, and deprive them of a well-rounded, modern education. These institutions often propagate the Taliban’s interpretation of religious texts, promoting ideas of war, violence, and hate.
The closure of teacher training centers also raises concerns about the future of academic figures in Afghanistan, and the potential shortage of qualified teachers in the country. With nearly 50 teacher training centers and nearly 200 supporting training centers for teachers and public servants, the impact of this decision is far-reaching. The vast majority of trainees and aspiring teachers at these institutions are women, whose aspirations for a career in education have now been dashed.
As the Taliban continues to implement its religious learning institutions and seminaries across the country, many are worried about the long-term consequences on education and the development of a more open and tolerant society. The closure of teacher training centers further exacerbates the uncertainty surrounding education and the future prospects for Afghan youth.