Students in South call for all girls’ schools to reopen

KABUL (Tolo News): Hundreds of female students above sixth grade who are fortunate to be able to attend school despite the closed schools in other areas of the country, said they are grateful to attend school and they urged the Islamic Emirate to provide educational opportunities for all girls above six grade.
In this report, a TOLOnews reporter visited one of the southern area’s girls’ schools that is still open to girls in grades six and up. Despite the fact that hundreds of female students in the country have dropped out, these girls are still permitted to attend school and continue their education.
“I am a student of the 12th grade, our lessons are ongoing and we come to the class every day,” said Shukria, a student. “We are very pleased to be studying, to graduate and to serve our homeland,” said Nazdana, a student in 10th grade. While most girls’ schools above the sixth grade remain closed in most regions of the country, these female students asked the authorities to reopen schools for all girls.
“All schools should be opened in 34 provinces of Afghanistan, so that girls can study,” said Nazo, a student in 11th grade. “I ask the Islamic Emirate to provide education opportunities for the rest of the girls and I say they should open those schools which are closed,” said Palwasha, a student in 10th grade.
“In order to have female doctors in the country or to have women activists in some other sectors, the education of girls is important,” said Aziza, a teacher. Despite no concrete solution for the reopening of girls’ schools, the Islamic Emirate stresses that, given the situation, girls’ schools above the sixth grade will reopen soon. But what these conditions are, and when female students will be able to attend school, is a question that has yet to be answered, and the Ministry of Education has not responded.
HRW reiterates concerns over closed girls’ schools: Human Rights Watch expressed concerns over closed schools for girls above grade six, saying that the closure of girls’ schools will have negative consequences for the Afghan girls. The Associate Director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, Heather Barr, called on the international community to take action for the reopening of schools for female students in grades 7-12.
“It is almost 10 months now that the Taliban have been denying girls’ access to secondary education and, of course, this comes on top of the barriers to education that were already created particularly for girls over the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. Somaya is one of the thousands of students who said she has been fighting to reach her dreams.
Somaya speaks three languages: English, Dari and Pashto. “Since I am banned from going to the school, I feel frustrated. My life is boring. My father encourages me that the school will be reopened soon,” she said. “When I see that girls above grade six are not going to school. I feel frustrated and am not willing to study,” said Alia, a student of grade five.
“If they ask us, we will wear burqas but please let us go to the school,” Somaya said. “These obstacles will affect the future of Afghanistan,” said Khalil Ahmad Kanjo, a university instructor. Although the Islamic Emirate has formed a committee to facilitate the reopening of girls schools, there has yet to be any progress in this regard.