Female students leave the Kandahar university in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 21 December 2022. EFE/EPA/FILE/STRINGER

Taliban halt all educational activities in 2 Afghan provinces

Kabul, Apr 17 (EFE).- A year and a half after the Taliban barred women and girls from schools, the de facto Islamist government has halted all educational activities in two southern Afghan provinces.

The Afghan education ministry asked in a letter to the provincial administrations of Kandahar and Helmand to “suspend all educational activities” beginning Monday, awaiting a review of all school and college programs.

According to the letter, the ministry intends to handle “all controversial issues” at the national level.

The Islamist regime has formed an expert committee to investigate the educational initiatives and operations of these two provinces’ schools, colleges, and other institutions.

Mutwakul Ahmed, a spokesperson for the Kandahar Education Department, confirmed the move, adding that activities would remain suspended until further notice.

Since taking control on Aug.15, 2021, the Taliban have imposed several restrictions on education in Afghanistan.

Women have been the main target of restrictions, which include prohibiting them from attending schools and colleges, requiring them to wear a full-body veil, gender segregation in public areas, and prohibiting them from traveling long distances unless accompanied by a male relative.

The Taliban’s return to Kabul meant the suspension of female secondary education, while experts revised the course content to conform to the Islamists’ stringent interpretation of Muslim law.

After regaining power in 2021, the Taliban pledged to be more moderate and softer than the Islamist regime that ruled from 1996 to 2000.

However, radical Islamists have reverted to their stringent interpretation of Islamic law, limiting women’s rights and freedoms in the country.