KABUL: In the midst of challenges faced by the Afghan education system, Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai is making headlines with his call to lift the ‘Ban on Girls’ Education’ in Afghanistan.
Known for his fervent advocacy of girls’ education, Stanikzai has called again for reopening schools for female students beyond grade 6 as the ban growing distance between Taliban and public. In his impassioned plea, he underlines the pivotal role education plays in society, asserting that a lack of knowledge renders a society “dark.” This call for change comes as a beacon of hope for the future of Afghan girls seeking to pursue education against prevailing odds.
Addressing a graduation ceremony organized by the Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Stanikzai underscored that the continued ban on female education is a key factor causing a disconnect between the interim Afghan government and the people. He emphasized that education is a fundamental right granted by God and the prophet, and any infringement upon this right is considered an oppression against the Afghan people.
Stanikzai acknowledged that the closure of schools has led to criticism of the current government, creating distance between citizens and the Islamic Emirate. He urged the reopening of educational institutions for everyone, stating that the nation’s strained relations with neighbors and the world are primarily rooted in the education issue.
Political analyst Hameedullah Hotak noted, “This country cannot only be controlled either by the Islamic Emirate or the republic [system]. Whenever the nation supports the government, then everything is possible.”
Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs Noorullah Noori echoed the importance of education and emphasized that they have enrolled youth in schools, especially those in remote areas with limited access to education. Noori rejected the notion of a distance between religious and modern education under the Islamic Emirate’s rule.
It’s worth noting that girls above grade six have been deprived of their right to education since the Islamic Emirate took control. Female universities have also been closed by the interim government. This development sheds light on a nuanced perspective within the Taliban leadership, where individuals like Stanikzai advocate for a more inclusive approach to education, potentially signaling a shift in the Taliban’s stance on girls’ education.