Taliban likely to resume secondary schools for girls, reports a senior UN official

During a talk between Abdi and the Taliban minister of Education, it was revealed that the Taliban is drafting ‘a framework’ to allow girls to attend schools and receive an education above grade six.

Executive Director Omar Abdi, a senior official at the United Nations, stated on Friday that the Taliban has affirmed that it will resume senior secondary education for Afghan girls “very soon.” During a talk between Abdi and the Taliban minister of Education, it was revealed that the Taliban is drafting ‘a framework’ to allow girls to attend schools and receive an education above grade six.

After Abdi’s visit to Kabul last week, he reported that five provinces in Afghanistan have already approved girls to attend senior secondary schools. These provinces are Balkh, Jawzjan and Samangan in the northwest, Kunduz in the northeast and Urozgan in the southwest regions of Afghanistan

The framework mentioned by the Taliban’s Education Minister will only be published “between a month or two,” Abdi confirmed. Recalling the dire status of education in the country, Omar Abdi stated that “millions of girls of secondary school age are missing out on education for the 27th consecutive day,” adding that each passing day is a day “lost for those girls that are out of school.”

The status of education for girls under the Taliban’s regime has been a global matter of concern since its takeover of Afghanistan earlier this year. During the Taliban’s previous rule of Afghanistan from 1996-2001, girls and women were denied the right to education and were restricted from working and engaging in public life.

Observing the previous record of the Taliban in relation to the treatment of women under its regime, it has been increasingly scrutinised and pressured by international authorities and humanitarian organisations to ensure women’s rights to education and work.

During his visit to the country, Abdi has reiterated the importance of educating girls in every meeting, urging the authorities “to let girls resume their learning.” He stated that educating women was crucial for women and the country as a whole. 

Ever since the Taliban takeover, the number of children out of school has increased to 4.2 million, out of which 2.6 million are girls. Abdi also asserted that efforts need to be made to overcome opposition from conservatives and get girls to attend secondary schools even after the Taliban authorises it.

However, he said the authorities he had held conversations with ascertained that the framework being drafted for the purpose will convince more parents to send their girls to school as it will address various matters of concern such as separating boys and girls and providing female teachers for female students etc. 

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