WASHINGTON: Condemning the Taliban’s decision not to reopen secondary schools to Afghan girls, the United States and its allies have called on the group to revoke its decision.
A joint statement issued by Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union has condemned the Taliban’s decision on March 23 to deny so many Afghan girls the opportunity to finally go back to school.
“The Taliban’s action contradicted its public assurances to the Afghan people and to the international community,” read the statement, adding that the decision came after months of work by the international community to support teacher stipends based on an expectation that schools would be open for all, with the higher interest of Afghan students and teachers in mind.
“We call on the Taliban urgently to reverse this decision, which will have consequences far beyond its harm to Afghan girls. Unreversed, it will profoundly harm Afghanistan’s prospects for social cohesion and economic growth, its ambition to become a respected member in the community of nations, and the willingness of Afghans to return from overseas,” added the statement.
The statement further said that the move will have an inevitable impact on the Taliban’s prospects of gaining political support and legitimacy either at home or abroad. “Every Afghan citizen, boy or girl, man or woman, has an equal right to an education at all levels, in all provinces of the country,” it added.
Notably, as the new school year begins in Afghanistan, the Taliban has announced that the boys can continue their education normally, however, the doors of the schools will be closed to girls beyond the sixth grade, reported local media.
“The Ministry of Education once again assures our nation that it is fully committed to providing the educational rights of all our compatriots. In order to generalize and standardize the quality of education …,” Tolo News quoted Aziz Ahmad Rayan, director of publications and communications at the Taliban Ministry of Education.
Rayan added that the schools for the girls beyond grade six will remain closed for now and the final decision on the same will be made by Taliban leadership. (ANI)