Girls urge Taliban to reopen schools as new academic year nears

A girls class at a school in the city of Kandahar. Sept. 2022. File photo.

As the new academic year looms within the next 10 days, female students are appealing to the Taliban to reopen their schools, with the fate of educational access for girls from secondary schools still undecided.

The students voiced their frustration over the schools’ closure for the past two years, labeling it a “difficult period” in their lives.

Since returning to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban has prohibited girls from attending schools and universities. With each approaching academic year, female students hope for the restoration of their educational rights.

“Unfortunately, we girls have been deprived of our education for the past three years in Afghanistan,” said Nastran, a student. “We pray every night that the schools will be reopened for girls, so that we can continue our education.”

Lailuma, another student, expressed impatience over the uncertainty, “The schools should be reopened for girls in one week. How long will our fate be undecided like this?”

Hadia, who completed grade six this academic year, is concerned about missing out on her education in the year ahead. “Last year, I was in grade six. This year, I am in grade 7. The boys can go to their schools, but I cannot,” she said.

The United Nations has reported that over 2.5 million girls have been barred from attending school, highlighting the significant educational gap for females in Afghanistan.