Girls voice concerns as new academic year approaches with schools still closed

Photo: Reuters. File photo.

As the new academic year looms, female students express their dismay over the continued closure of schools for those above sixth grade.

With the academic year set to begin on March 22, these students were hopeful for positive news regarding the reopening of their schools. Amu has highlighted the stories of several students who are distressed over their prolonged absence from education.

Shabnam, who was in ninth grade when the Taliban resumed control of Afghanistan, resulting in the shutdown of secondary schools and universities for girls, has turned to working in a tailoring workshop to alleviate the mental strain of being denied an education.

It has now been approximately 900 days since girls have been barred from accessing their secondary and high schools. Despite counting the days for their schools to reopen, the Taliban’s stance remains firm.

This issue has garnered international attention, with Mathew Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, advocating for the girls’ right to education in Washington, D.C. “We’re of course aware that this sad anniversary is approaching, and we have unequivocally stated that girls should never have been prevented from attending school,” he said. “Promoting the rights of Afghan women and girls is essential to our efforts in Afghanistan,” Miller added, noting that the U.S. has consistently called on the Taliban to revoke their discriminatory policies against women and girls.

Furthermore, Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education, stressed the critical role of education in fostering resilience among women and girls, urging the global community to ensure educational opportunities for girls.

Despite both national and international appeals, the Taliban continues to disregard calls for the reopening of secondary schools for girls in Afghanistan.