Afghanistan: Private universities in Takhar on verge of closure as education ban continues

At least four private universities are on the verge of closure in Takhar province in the east of the country amidst the ban on female students, the head of universities and private higher education institutes in Takhar, Abdul Wahid Hamad, said.

He said that people’s interest in attending university entrance exams has reduced and fewer students are attending private university classes.

According to him, over 6,000 employees of private universities have lost their jobs after the Taliban ban on women’s higher education last December.

“Economic problems have brought the only four private universities in Takhar on the verge of bankruptcy,” he said.

Hamad said that 35 universities and private higher education institutes will be closed across the country if the ban on women’s higher education continues.

“The decision to ban women from higher education was major damage to private universities. We have shared the concern with Islamic emirate officials and we have asked them to exempt private universities from taxes and rents until the next announcement,” said Abdul Karim Naseri, head of Afghanistan’s universities and private higher education institutes.

Meanwhile, officials from private schools said that many such schools are grappling with huge economic challenges due to the drop in the number of students and applicants.

“The ban on girls’ education has created a major concern for the people, especially for schools that enrolled girls,” said Daqiq Farkhari, head of Al Huda High School.

Takhar residents said that education is everyone’s right and that the Taliban should allow women and girls to return to schools and universities.

“The closure of secondary schools for girls has left a negative impact on Afghanistan’s educational society. Private institutions have suffered the highest impact,” said Sultan Murad, a resident of Takhar.

“Not only men but also women and girls have the right to education,” said Haroon, a resident of Takhar.

Figures by the union of private universities and high education institutes show that 150 private universities and higher education institutes are operating across the country, most of which are facing major economic problems.