After nearly three months, girls’ schools have reopened for all female students in the western province of Herat, according to an elected council of Herat teachers.
For the past several months only girls up to grade 6 were allowed; now girls and young women in grades 7-12 are allowed to attend school in Herat.
According to the council, the decision was made after a month of discussions between the council and officials of girls’ schools with the local officials of the Islamic Emirate in Herat.
The council said this decision allows over 300,000 more girls to continue with their education.
“Previously, girl students frome grades 1 to 6 were going to school. Now girls from grades 7 to 12 also go to school. Before this decision, 250,000 to 300.000 girls were deprived of education,” said Mohammad Sabir, head of the council.
Meanwhile, girls said they are happy about the resumption of their education.
“During the time that schools were closed and we could not attend our lessons, we were very disappointed. With the opening of schools, we have found new hope,” said Maisara Wafa, a student of grade 11.
“We are happy that schools are reopened and we can continue with our education,” said Sanaz Haidari, another student in Grade 11.
Although students and teachers are happy about the resumption of the schools' activities, the teachers said they have not received their salaries for more than four months and are struggling with severe economic problems.
“We expect that the girls’ schools should not be closed once again and no restrictions should be imposed on our teaching,” said Suhaila Sharifi, a teacher.
“The salary is the only income the teachers have, and we have not been paid for a few months. If the teachers are paid, they can teach better,” said Zarghona Rasuli, a teacher.
Based on numbers from Herat’s education department, over a million students go to school and over half are girls.