KABUL (Reuters) – Authorities in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktia said girls’ high schools had opened in recent days, though the move had not been officially approved.
Most girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan have been closed since the Taliban took over in August 2021 after the group made a sudden U-turn on promises to open them in March.
“The schools have opened some days ago, the rules about Islam, culture and customs are observed, the principal of schools asked the students to come back to school and the girls’ high schools are open,” said Mawlawi Khaliqyar Ahmadzai, head of Paktia’s culture and information department.
A spokesperson for Paktia’s education department confirmed girls’ high schools have opened but said his department was not informed in advance and they had sent letter to the national education ministry and were waiting for the response.
The Education Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
In March, the Taliban backtracked on their announcement that high schools would open for girls later that month, saying they would remain closed until a plan was drawn up in accordance with Islamic law for them to reopen.
The move drew condemnation from the international community, complicating diplomatic efforts. Some Western governments have said they will not recognise the Taliban’s administration and restore aid unless they change track on women’s rights.
(Reporting by Mohammad Yunus Yawar; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)