KABUL: Girls have returned to school in Kunduz, Balkh and Sar-e-Pul provinces for the first time since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Jalil Saeed Khili, head of Balkh’s provincial education department, said all girls’ schools had been opened.


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“We have separated the girls from the boys,” she said. The Balkh girls were happy to be allowed to return to school. Sultan Razia, a student in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh, where there are more than 600 students and 122 teachers, said: “Initially there were a few students but the number is growing and the text is good.”

“Education is our right, we want to improve our country and no one can take away our right to education,” said Tabassum, another student at the school.

According to the Balkh Education Department, there are more than 60,000 active schools in the province with about 50,000 students.

Last month, the Taliban-appointed Ministry of Education announced that only boys’ schools would be reopened and that only male teachers would be able to resume their jobs.

The ministry, however, did not say anything about the return of female teachers or girls to school.

Based on figures from the Ministry of Education, there are currently 14,098 schools operating in Afghanistan, of which 4,932 are students in grades 10-12, 3,781 in grades 7-9 and 5,385 in grades 1-6.

According to statistics, 28 per cent of the total schools are girls in classes 10-12, 15.5 per cent in grades 7-9 and 13.5 per cent girls in grades 1-6.

Saeed Saeed Khosti, a member of the cultural commission at the Ministry of Culture and Information, said: “There are technical problems. There are problems that need to be addressed fundamentally and a policy and framework needs to be put in place. When these problems are solved, all the girls can go to school. ”

The students said that although the Taliban has repeatedly said that this has changed, their recent decision is disappointing and threatens to further erode the rights of girls and young women.

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