The United Nations have expressed their concern over the fact that only boys and male teachers have been granted permission to rejoin schools in Afghanistan. All the girls have been prohibited from entering schools, which has raised a sense of concern in the UN.
Commenting on the incident, the officials stated that the decision violated the fundamental right to education. The insurgent group has permitted boys from classes 6 to 12, and male teachers to attend schools from September 18. Last month, the education ministry had allowed a few schools to reopen for girls up to class 6, and women were also granted permission to enter universities. However, high schools remained closed for girls.
The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay has warned about the irreversible consequences of the decision. Azoulay stated that if girls are not allowed to resume classes, they will be left behind both in education and life. “This will increase the risk of dropping out from the education, and exposes them to negative coping mechanisms such as child marriage,” she added. In addition, she said that the learning disparities between boys and girls would widen and would also hinder the latter’s access to higher education and life opportunities.
Azoulay further requested the stakeholders and authorities in the war-ravaged country to ensure all children have unhindered access to education within the framework of the gradual reopening of schools. She added that the future of Afghanistan depends on the educated girls and boys and the right to education.
In the last 20 years, Afghanistan gained a crucial position in the education sector. The number of girls in primary schools surged from zero in 2001 to a massive 2.5 million in 2018. The number of girls in high educational institutions in Afghanistan also went up from 5,000 in 2001 to 90,000 in 2018.