Taliban ‘discussing new school uniform’ plan for boys and girls

A draft document, a copy of which was seen by Amu and confirmed by a Taliban official from the education ministry, outlines school uniform requirements for boys and girls, as well as teachers, in the country.

The draft, widely shared on social media, has five chapters and 13 articles and proposes traditional Afghan clothing in light blue for boys in primary school and a light green outfit for secondary and high school boys.

The draft proposal states that female students should not wear “short, transparent, thin and tight” outfits.

“We are still consulting on this and I cannot say that it is a final draft,” a Taliban official told Amu on condition of anonymity. “We have shared this draft with all relevant offices to get their ideas before making a final decision.”

But some students said they would not like to wear traditional clothes as a school uniform.

“I don’t like to wear light green clothes. However, lessons are more important to us than a uniform,” said Mohammad Idris, an 11th year student from Habibiya High School in Kabul.

The draft proposes traditional clothes in gray color and a white hat for boys in religious primary schools, and white clothes and white turbans for high school students at religious schools or madrassas.

When it comes to girls, the draft proposes cream color dresses with a white veil.

But contrary to expectations, despite secondary schools still being closed for girls, the draft does propose a uniform for secondary schools. It says that girls in secondary schools should wear dark green uniforms with a gray and black veil.

“We are ready to accept any type of hijab and clothing that they want. Our only request is that they should allow us to go to school. I am dealing with psychological issues and I am tired of this situation,” said Sara, a female student who studied until 10th grade in Sultan Razia High School in Kabul.

For teachers, the draft proposes traditional clothes for men and dresses with veils for women that are based on Sharia norms.

“It is painful for me that the Taliban is so against education and wants to change the education environment to a madrassa-like environment for us. We don’t want such changes in our scientific environment,” said Jawed Ahmad, a teacher who has worked in Kabul schools for the past 23 years.

Taliban officials did not comment about the matter despite repeated attempts to get comment.

This comes amid an ongoing ban on girls attending school above Grade Six.