Criticism arises over Taliban’s curriculum changes in Afghanistan

Estiqlal High School in Kabul. File photo.

Education advocates criticized the Taliban’s decision to remove subjects such as art, civic education, culture, patriotism, and life skills from Afghanistan’s school curriculum, arguing these areas are crucial for student development.

Following these removals, students have reported an increase in the teaching hours dedicated to religious subjects.

Educational activists believe that omitting these subjects from the curriculum will harm the country’s educational system. “Eliminating subjects based on a narrow-minded perspective not only fails to enhance the curriculum but also introduces serious challenges within it,” said Basir Ahmad Danishyar, an educational activist. He urged for a responsible reconsideration of Afghanistan’s curriculum, highlighting the effectiveness of the previous curriculum.

Students have noticed the shift in focus since the curriculum change. “Some of the subjects from school have been removed this year, such as civic education and patriotism. In their place, religious hours have been added,” said Ahmad Zubair, a seventh-grade student.

The Taliban’s curriculum revision for the new academic year has sparked concern among those who see the removed subjects as essential for understanding human rights, democracy, citizenship rights, the constitution, civil liberties, and the introduction to historical figures, culture, and traditions. These subjects were previously taught across grades 1-12.