At least 800 high school graduates, including 300 female students, participated in an entrance exam organized by a private institute of medical studies in Kandahar on Saturday.
The institute provides classes in pharmacy, laboratory, nursing, midwifery and dental prosthetics departments.
“I am excited to have participated in the exam and I want to serve the people,” said Sakina, a student in Kandahar.
“I am happy to be here, and I want to help the people in villages in the future,” said Shamsia, another student.
Meanwhile, teachers at the institute asked the Islamic Emirate to reopen secondary schools for girls in near future.
“We ask the Islamic Emirate to allow girls to go to school as soon as possible,” said Hanifa, a teacher in Kandahar.
“Girls’ education is crucial because Afghanistan needs female doctors and engineers,” said Nargis, another teacher.
Kandahar officials said that through educating and training specialists, the health issues in remote areas in the province would be resolved and that maternal mortality rates would reduce.
“We hope that gap in the health sector in villages is filled by these ladies,” the exam organizer Sediqullah Masoumi said.
“For those girls whose schools are closed, we ask the government to reopen their schools,” said Mohammad Wali, a resident of Kandahar.
It has been over a year that secondary schools for girls have been closed across the country. The Islamic Emirate has repeatedly said that it will soon reopen girls’ schools but it has not addressed its commitment so far.