Students call for universities to resume classes

KABUL (Agencies): University students called on the Ministry of Higher Education to reopen all public and private universities as soon as possible. The students also called for female students to be allowed to return to classes along with male students – but in accordance with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) rules.
“Female students want the IEA to start lessons soon based on their rules,” said Mansoora, a student. “Students from private universities say that their classes did resume, but were stopped by the IEA. The [teaching] environment is Islamic and we call on the IEA to restart our classes,” said Sonam Sarwari, another student. Meanwhile, some women’s rights activists stated that universities and schools for girls should be established as soon as possible.
They said that women also have the right to education. “Not opening girls’ universities and schools shows that they do not value women and by not allowing women to participate in government will have bad consequences,” said Zarqa Yaftali, an activist. Clerics on the other hand stated that education is obligatory for males and females in Islam and it (education) is their right.
They added that in all Muslim countries female students continue their education along with male students. “Seeking knowledge is compulsory for Muslims, both male and female. They should receive religious education to carry out their daily affairs correctly. If they want other education it is not a problem. We call on the IEA to provide an Islamic environment for girls to continue their education,” said Mawlawi Attaullah Faizani, a cleric.
This comes after IEA officials said that they are working on a plan for female students to return to school. “It is not only a matter of plan, there is a big vacuum, for example there aren’t officials, we are working on new personnel,” said Jawed Sargar, a member of the IEA’s cultural commission. “I call on the youths to not leave Afghanistan. It is time to serve the country. IEA will respect them and will provide them opportunities to serve the country with their own profession,” said Abdul Khaliq Hamad, a university lecturer. The IEA said that female students can continue their education, but based on Sharia.