Afghan Women Students Welcome the Reopening of Univerties

Kabul, MINA – It has been almost six months since Zarlashta Haqmal has been waiting for the moment to return to college. Since mid-August last year, precisely after the Taliban seized power, academic activities at universities have stopped. Anxiety then haunts the women there. Because the Taliban have a history of forbidding women from pursuing education, especially at the university level.

On Wednesday, the Taliban decided to reopen state universities in a number of provinces in Afghanistan, including Helmand, Farah, Nimroz, Laghman, Nangarhar, and Kandahar. The good news, the Taliban also allowed women to go to college.

“It is a moment of joy for us that our classes have started,” said Zarlashta Haqmal, a law and political science student at Nangarhar University as quoted from Republika Online.

Nevertheless, Haqmal admitted that he was still worried that the Taliban would at any time revoke permission for Afghan women to study up to university. “We are still worried the Taliban might stop them,” she said.

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At the universities that have opened, Taliban members stand guard at the gates with machine guns. Teaching and learning activities were also divided. A medical student at Nangarhar University revealed that currently the classrooms are separated by gender. There can be no mixing.

Women’s classes are held in the morning. Meanwhile, lectures for men were held in the afternoon.

“Only our study shifts were separated, even though we had been told not to walk around the university until the boys’ time was over,” said a medical student at Nangarhar University who declined to be identified.

It is not clear whether male teachers are allowed to teach female students or vice versa. Although the current state of study is not what it was before the Taliban came to power, she is reluctant to make this an obstacle.

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“I still want to continue, because my education cannot be incomplete,” she said.

During the moment of reopening, the Minister of Culture and Information of the Taliban, Khairullah Khairkhwa, visited Kandahar University. He hinted at supporting the application of modern education.

“Modern education and Islam together can bring a country to prosperity,” he said.

Taliban Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani said other universities in Afghanistan, including Kabul University, would reopen to men and women on February 26.

“All infrastructure and officials are advised to concentrate on their responsibilities as well as provide the necessary facilities for the students,” Haqqani said. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)