Taliban Increase Mandatory Religious Education in Afghan Universities

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Taliban Increase Mandatory Religious Education in Afghan Universities

Education officials in Afghanistan announced Tuesday that extra Islamic studies lectures will be required for university students, but they gave few hints as to when secondary schools for girls will reopen.
Many extreme Islamist Taliban members who are traditional Afghan clerics have returned to power a year ago and are sceptical of contemporary schooling.

According to Abdul Baqi Haqqani, minister for higher education, “We are adding five new religious disciplines to the existing eight.” These subjects include Islamic history, politics, and government.

From one to three mandatory religion classes each week will be offered in government universities.

At a press conference, he stated that the Taliban would not order the removal of any subjects from the current curriculum.

However, due to the exodus of Afghanistan’s educated elite, including professors, many subjects have been discontinued while studies in some universities have changed in relation to music and sculpture, two subjects that are extremely sensitive given the Taliban’s strict interpretation of sharia law.

Officials have been adamant that girls’ schools will reopen for months, citing both technical and budgetary problems as the causes of the ongoing closures.

Senior education ministry official Abdulkhaliq Sadiq stated on Tuesday that households in rural areas were still unsure of the value of sending girls to secondary school.

Girls’ primary and secondary schools were closed between 1996 and 2001, under the final administration of the Taliban.

In collaboration with our leaders, “we are attempting to develop a sound strategy… so that others in rural areas are also persuaded,” he stated.

In order to conform to their austere interpretation of Islam since taking power on August 15 of last year, the Taliban have placed severe restrictions on girls and women, effectively squeezing them.

Although it is still legal for young women to attend college, many have chosen not to do so due to the expense or because their families fear for their safety in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

In the meantime, young girls won’t be permitted to take next university entrance examinations without a secondary school diploma.

The right to an education has been declared a crucial prerequisite for the formal recognition of the Taliban regime by the international world.

The government has been in power for a year, but no nation has yet to recognise it.

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