The Ministry of Education in Afghanistan said that it is working to provide a standard education in the nation even though it has been more than 15 months since the closing of schools for girls over the sixth grade.
The Education Ministry stated that 19,000 schools and 13,000 madrasas (religious schools) are operating in the nation, in a statement on the International Day of Education. However, nothing about the reopening of girls' schools was mentioned in the statement.
"The Ministry of Education assures the Afghan people and the international community that the Islamic Emirate considers learning and education to be necessities for every Afghan and strives to offer standard educational services for its people,” the statement reads.
However, female students asked the Islamic Emirate to open schools for girls above sixth grade as soon as possible.
"They should let us go to school; we accept any condition, we are observing hijab, even we will put on burqa,” said Sadia, a student.
Audrey Azoulay, the director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), asked the Islamic Emirate to restore the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
“UNESCO wants to dedicate this day to them...every child, every adult has the right to education,” Azoulay said.
On the International Day of Education, UN spokesperson Stephen Dujarric said that the UN Secretary-General stressed the need to end all laws and movements that hinder women and girls from accessing education.
“The UN Chief also stressed that it is time to end all discriminatory laws and practices that hinder access to education. He calls for the de facto authorities in Afghanistan in particular to reverse the outrages and self-defeating ban on access to secondary and higher education for girls,” Dujarric said during a press conference.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Rina Amiri, the US Special Envoy for Women, Girls, and Human Rights in Afghanistan, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett, also Qatar's ambassador to the UN, Human Rights Watch, and a number of countries have all expressed support for women's education in Afghanistan.
"Education is the legal and natural right of the country's residents, thus closing educational institutes for girls cannot have any legal justification,” said Sayed Muqadam Amin, a university lecturer.
"The responsible authorities should create favorable conditions and open the doors of schools and universities to Afghan girls,” said Abdul Nasir Shafiq, a university lecturer.
Meanwhile, a number of students who have been banned from attending universities for more than a month are asking the current government to reconsider its recent decisions banning girls from attending universities.
"Now that they do not allow us to get an education, I'm very upset that our land is in such a situation,” said Safa, a student.
"We ask the Islamic Emirate to reopen universities and educational centers to girls as soon as possible,” said Rozita, another student.
This comes as the Islamic Emirate barred women and girls from attending universities and girls above sixth grade from attending schools "until further notice" and said that it would reopen schools and universities for them when the appropriate conditions were met.