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Taliban Closes Girls’ Schools Hours After Reopening Them
Afghan women join youths, activists and elders at a rally to support peace talks and the republic government in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 29, 2021. (Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Taliban Closes Girls’ Schools Hours After Reopening Them

The Taliban, which controls Afghanistan, announced on Wednesday the closure of girls’ high schools, hours after they reopened for the first time in more than half a year. Only Afghan girls in grades one to six will continue to attend school, according to reports. The Ministry of Education in Afghanistan confirmed to Reuters last week that all schools in the Taliban-led country would open to all boys and girls, though female students were to be taught separately from boys by only female teachers.

The Ministry of Education announced on Wednesday that schools for girls would be closed until a plan was drawn up “in accordance with Islamic law and Afghan culture,” Al Jazeera reported, citing the government news agency Bakhtar. AFP confirmed the closure of high schools for girls. A video had been released by the education ministry on Tuesday night welcoming all students back to school.

Among the other issues preventing the continued operation of schools is a shortage of teachers, many that fled the country when the Taliban took over in August after the exit of US troops and other foreign troops from the country, Al Jazeera reported, citing the Education Ministry.  Allowing girls and women back into schools and colleges has been a red line for the international community since the Taliban took over.  At the time of the takeover, schools in Afghanistan were closed due to the coronavirus; Wednesday was the official start of the school year.

The Taliban prevented women and girls from educational frameworks when it last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

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