Closure of teacher training centers leaves instructors in shock

A recent order from the Taliban to remove teacher training centers from the Ministry of Education has faced criticism from a number of teachers, who see it as an “oppressive move” that threatens the future of education in the country.

The teacher training centers, which operated under the Ministry of Education, were established to enhance the skills of teachers and offer two-year educational programs in almost all provinces. The Taliban’s sudden decision has taken thousands of teachers and administrative staff by surprise.

According to some teachers, these centers employed at least 6,000 teachers and administrative staff. In a statement issued by the Taliban’s Education Ministry, it was mentioned that these individuals will be reassigned to schools. The Taliban also argued that the structure of the teacher training centers created a parallel organization within the ministry.

Additionally, the Taliban stated that the deputy education minister’s office responsible for teacher training centers had already been dissolved by the previous government. Only the provincial-level structures remained, which are now closed as per the Taliban’s order.

This decision has left many teachers shocked, as their livelihoods relied solely on the salaries they received from their positions at the teacher training centers, particularly in provinces where the job market is much smaller compared to the capital, Kabul.

Mina Jami, a teacher from one of the teacher training centers, expressed her disappointment, stating that the decision has opened the door to a “dark future” for education in the country.

“I was enrolled in a teacher training center and received professional training that I then passed on to my students. I am deeply upset about this decision, as I believe it will have a negative impact on women and girls. I hope these institutions are not permanently closed like others,” she said.

The Taliban has also announced that employees from the teacher training centers will be reassigned to vacant positions in schools, religious institutions, and other relevant organizations.

Zahra, a teacher, expressed concerns about the decision, emphasizing its potential negative consequences for students.

Women’s rights activists have also voiced their criticism, stating that this decision will further restrict women’s opportunities to work in government-owned institutions.

“We urge the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) to reconsider its decision regarding the teacher training centers and allow them to continue their work until Afghanistan becomes self-reliant in terms of having professional teachers,” demanded Forozan Daudzai, a women’s rights activist.

In a separate statement issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Taliban announced the dismissal of 469 teachers from kindergartens and nurseries. This decision has left female teachers in shock, with one of them sharing her feelings in a widely circulated video on social media.

Sources in Herat, Farah, Badghis, Samangan, and Takhar provinces have reported that the buildings previously used by teacher training centers and other educational institutions are now being repurposed as “jihadi madrassas” recently established by the Taliban over the past two years.