KABUL: Afghanistan’s education system, which has confronted numerous challenges, is now listed among countries with some of the most severe education conditions.
Gender disparities, limited access to education for girls, attacks on schools, disrupted learning, high illiteracy rates, and other severe challenges have placed the country in a dire educational situation, as reported by Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC).
Maleiha Malik, Executive Director of PEIC, stated that these challenges have been exacerbated by interventions from both governmental and non-state actors, dealing a significant blow to the nation’s educational infrastructure and opportunities.”
According to Malik, Afghanistan has consistently ranked among the countries struggling with ongoing setbacks in education. Disturbingly, attacks on education have not only been carried out by state actors but also by armed non-state groups. What complicates matters further is the increasing prominence of these armed non-state entities, often overshadowing the destruction caused by state actors, making it challenging to assess the full extent of the damage inflicted by various parties.
The new barriers to education in Afghanistan remain formidable, remarked Malik, emphasizing the ongoing challenges faced in restoring the education system to a functional state.
In response to the crisis, the Islamic Emirate’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, asserted their commitment to ensuring Afghan girls have the right to an education. However, Mujahid refrained from elaborating further on the situation regarding the education of females in Afghanistan. He acknowledged that while education has been temporarily suspended, efforts are underway to address the issue.
The educational centres can bridge the educational gap that has emerged during this time when female students are not permitted to attend universities and schools are not conducive for them, stated Sangar Khalid, the head of the Union of Educational Centres.
Amidst this crisis, female students have vocally advocated for the reopening of schools for girls, emphasizing the detrimental consequences of ignoring the education of women in society. Fatema, a student, underscored the importance of inclusivity in preserving a civilized culture.