Afghan schoolgirls finish sixth grade in tears. Under Taliban rule, their education ended

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Bahara Rustom, 13, took her last class at Bibi Razia School in Kabul on Dec. 11 knowing this was the end of her education. Under Taliban ruleShe is unlikely to set foot in a classroom again.

In September 2021, a month after US and NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan after two decades of war, the Taliban announced that Girls were banned From studying after the sixth grade.

They have extended this ban on education to Universities in December 2022. The Taliban defied global condemnation and warnings that the restrictions would make it almost impossible for them Get recognition As the legitimate rulers of the country.

Last week, UN Special Envoy Rosa Otunbaeva Expressed concern A generation of Afghan girls is being left behind with every passing day.

An official at the Ministry of Education said last week Afghan girls of all ages They are allowed to study in religious schools known as madrassas, which have traditionally been for boys only. But Otunbayeva said it was unclear whether there was a unified curriculum that would allow for modern topics.

Bhara sticks to her education and takes care of school books at home. “Graduation (from sixth grade) means we will move on to seventh grade,” she said. “But all our colleagues cried and we were very disappointed.”

There was no graduation ceremony for girls at Baby Razia School.

In another part of Kabul, 13-year-old Staish Sahibzada wonders what the future holds for her. She is sad because she can no longer go to school to pursue her dreams.

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“I can't stand on my feet,” she said. “I wanted to be a teacher. But now I can’t study, and I can’t go to school.”

Analyst Muhammad Salim Baygir warned that excluding women and girls from education would be disastrous for Afghanistan. “We realize that illiterate people can never be free and prosperous,” he said.

The Taliban banned women from entering many places Public spaces And most jobs, all but Limiting women To their homes.

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