Home LATEST NEWS Reopening of the largest university in Afghanistan on Saturday

Reopening of the largest university in Afghanistan on Saturday

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However, very few female students attended the classes, separated from the male students.

In the capital, Taliban guards denied journalists access to the huge campus and chased away those who lingered near the entrances.

Asked aside, students told AFP of their mixed feelings about their return to class.

I am happy that the university has resumed […]we want to continue our studies. »

A quote from Student, who asked to be identified as Basira

However, she mentioned some difficultiesespecially because the Taliban reprimanded students for bringing their mobile phones to class.

They did not behave well with us. They were rudeshe explained.

Public universities, such as colleges and high schools for girls, were closed as soon as the Taliban came to power, raising fears of a desire to deprive women of all education, as was the case during their first reign (1996 -2001).

However, the new government quickly assured that it wanted to allow women to study at university, but under strict conditions, in particular clothing (wearing a veil) and the separation of men and women. Schools for girls will reopen by the end of March, authorities have promised.

Students on the grounds of Kabul University.

A member of the Taliban regime talks to female students outside the Kabul University of Education.

Photo: Reuters/STRINGER

Absences observed in universities

According to Maryam, a student from Kabul University, only seven classmates were present on Saturday morning.

Before, we were 56 students, boys and girlstogether in progress, she specified.

Many teachers were also missing, maybe because some have left the countryshe added.

In the rest of the territory, the situation was the same, with few returning students.

Sometimes even none, as in Panchir (north), historic bastion of resistance against the Taliban and the last region to fall under the total control of the Islamists, at the end of September.

I don’t know if they’ll come tomorrow, or the day after, or notwondered Noor-ur-Rehman Afzali, professor at the University of Panchir.

Students told AFP that many did not come for fear of the new authorities, or for lack of means to pay university fees.

Most students might not be able to afford to pay, said Haseenat, a Dari literature student in Kabul. Another revealed that her friends asked her to to do a report on the study conditions before deciding to come.

In Herat (west), an ancient Silk Road city near the Iranian border and once one of the most important intellectual centers of the Islamic world, there was also a shortage of teachers.

Some of our teachers have left the country, but we are happy of the reopening, said Parisa Narwan, a student at the Faculty of Arts.

A totalitarian regime in search of recognition

The coffers of the country are almost empty since the cessation in August of international aid, which financed nearly 80% of the Afghan budget, and the freezing by the United States of 9.5 billion dollars of assets of the Bank. Central Afghan.

Tens of thousands of Afghans fled the country when the Taliban arrived, including professors and teachers who were very critical of the radical Islamist group.

No country has yet recognized the new regime, which imposed several restrictions on women, including barring them from many government jobs.

In Kabul, Haseenat notes with bitterness the radical change in life for women on university grounds.

We are told not to leave our classes […] There is no more cafeteria, and we are not allowed to go to the university courtyard. »

A quote from Haseenat, a Dari literature student in Kabul

Same remark in Bamyan (center), where students were asked to wear a black abaya (a loose and long garment) on the body and a hijab on the head, the Taliban renouncing this time to impose the burqa, completely covering the head and body, with a fabric mesh concealing the eyes.

I have never worn a hijab before […]this is new for meSohaila Rostami, a biology student in Bamiyam, told AFP.

I used to wear jeans and other normal clothes. It will be hard for me to get used to to abaya and hijab, she added.

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