Taliban’s education ministers travel to Russia amid school closures for Afghan girls

KABUL, Afghanistan — While 1,027 days have passed since the closure of schools for girls above the sixth grade, the acting ministers of education and higher education under the Taliban have traveled to Russia to participate in a Global Education Ministers’ Meeting.

In recent weeks, Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have signaled a willingness to establish relations with the Taliban. Many Taliban officials have been invited to various meetings in Russia. Abdul Manan Omari, the Taliban labor minister, is currently in Kazan, Russia, meeting with various Russian officials.

The Taliban’s education ministry spokesman, Mansoor Ahmad Hamza, announced that Habibullah Agha, the acting minister of education, will speak about the status of education, achievements, and opportunities in Afghanistan. The visit will last four days.

Similarly, the Taliban’s higher education ministry spokesman revealed that Neda Mohammad Nadeem, the acting minister of higher education, and his delegation have also traveled to Kazan. Nadeem is expected to meet with higher education officials from various countries during the four-day forum.

The trip has sparked criticism from Afghan girls who have been deprived of their right to education. “If the Taliban do not allow girls to go to school and continue their education, all women and girls face a dark future,” said one student.

Tayeba, who was in tenth grade when the Taliban closed the schools, recounted the psychological toll the closure has taken on her. “I am in a deteriorated situation. I fell behind in my studies, I missed going to courses, I missed school, and I missed all the dreams I had,” she said.

Despite calls from the international community to reopen schools and universities for girls, the Taliban has remained steadfast in its repressive policies.