Afghanistan: Fourth round of university entrance exam begins without female students

The fourth round of university entrance exams commenced in seven provinces of the country on Thursday, but once again without female students.

According to Taliban-run examinations authority, this round will be conducted over three days in Laghman, Nangarhar, Khost, Nimroz, Kandahar, Farah and Helmand provinces.

Taliban has organized these exams in five stages.

The first stage was held on June 6-8 in the provinces of Wardak, Logar, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Ghazni, Paktia, Paktika, Kunar, Zabul, Bamiyan, Samangan, Badghis, Herat, Ghor, and Nuristan.

The second phase took place in Kabul on June 21-22.

The third phase was conducted on June 28-29 in the provinces of Takhar, Kunduz, Balkh, Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pul, Faryab, Urozgan, Baghlan, Daikundi, and Badakhshan.

The fourth round, scheduled for July 4-6, includes Nangarhar, Laghman, Khost, Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, and Nimroz.

The fifth stage, which covers miscellaneous and “out-of-border” exams, is set for July 13.

For over 1,000 days, Taliban has barred girls from attending secondary schools. Moreover, female students have been barred from university education and participation in entrance exams since December 2022.

This marks the second consecutive year that girls have been excluded from the Kankor exams.

The Taliban’s restrictions on education for girls and women have drawn sharp international condemnation, including from Muslim-majority countries, but the regime has shown no sign of reversing its policies.

Female students who have completed the 12th grade criticize the Taliban’s stance, stating they face an uncertain future. Similarly, girls above the sixth grade have consistently denounced the Taliban’s policies, asserting that education is a fundamental human, Islamic, and universal right.