Pajhwok Afghan News

Allow girls to sit university entrance exam, govt urged

KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of girls have expressed grave concern over their exclusion from the university entrance examination and urged the caretaker government to open the gates of schools and universities to girls.

On July 18, the National Examination Authority (NEXA) said girls would not participate in this year’s university entrance test according to a letter the authority received from the Ministry of Higher Education.

Bibi Hajira, a high school graduate in Kabul, expressed her grave concern over the announcement that girls could not participate in Kankor examination.

She told Pajhwok Afghan News the issue had greatly affected them, but girls did not stop their education.

“Las year they took an exam from us and we graduated and in the middle of this year, they again distributed entrance examination forms and took money from us, the distribution of farms gave us hope, we were happy that the gates of schools and universities would open to us, but unfortunately, the recent announcement greatly disappointed us.”

She said she did not stop studying despite being away from school and always read school textbooks at home to prepare for the entrance exam.

With tears in her eyes, Hajira said: “When they announced that girls are not included in the entrance examination, all my dreams were shattered.”

She wished that the Islamic Emirate would not break the hearts of girls anymore and they would make it easier for girls to participate in the entrance examination.

Razia, another candidate for this year’s entrance exam, said: “With all the restrictions, I still strived hard to be able to study well in order to succeed, but unfortunately all my hopes and dreams did not come true. I’m completely disappointed. I often ask myself why they don’t allow girls to study? Why?”

Razia, who was shocked by the announcement, said: “I gave up having fun just to participate in the Kankoor exam and get a good grade, so that I can support myself and my family in future because my family is facing economic problems and hardships we have in life, they supported me to study.”

She urged the Islamic Emirate to include girls in this year’s entrance exam.

Students left halfway demand reopening of educational institutions.

Mursal, an 11th grade student of one of Kabul’s schools, said more than two years had passed since girls were deprived of their lessons and education and all girls, including her spent these two years with great difficulties.

“I don’t know for how long it will be like this, we are completely disappointed. I wake up every day with a hope that maybe our schools will be open today, but with each passing day I become more disappointed,” she added.

She said most of their relatives and friends who had resources had left the country for the sake of their daughters’ education, but families who could not afford to leave the country remained here.

Mursal, who is worried about her unknown future, asked the Islamic Emirate to open the gates of schools for girls so they could get rid of depression.

Also, Hanifa, a third-year student of Kabul University, said that closure of universities and schools against girls had disappointed everyone.

“It’s been two years since we stayed away from our lessons, we forgot the things we had studied, I don’t know why they are preventing us from studying and education,” she asked.

Hanifa added: “The holy religious of Islam values women and girls. Islam gives the right of education to women and girls.”

Experts also call for reopening of educational institutions

Najmiya Salehi, a professor at one of the private higher education institutes in Kabul, said: “Keeping the gates of schools and universities closed to girls without a valid reason is a big mistake that in the long run will make suffer not only girls and their families, but also the government in all fields.”

She emphasized: “Continuing the ban on girls’ education will create great gaps in the families and society.”

She added in all Islamic countries, women had been given roles in all fields because Islam did not oppose women’s education and even work.

“Because Hazrat Bibi Khadijah was a merchant and Hazrat Bibi Aisha was one of the commentators.”

While stressing on opening the gates of schools and universities to girls, she said: “Every problem  in this field should be resolved and the lives of girls should not be played with.”

Meanwhile, Javed Momand, a professor at one of Kabul’s private universities, said that in addition to the fact that men in the society needed education, women, who made half of the society, should also have a favorable education.

He added: “The continuation of this issue will cause many problems, including legal and illegal migrations, brain drain and dullards because most families do not want their daughters to remain uneducated.”

He said for creating an advanced society free from war and misery, it was necessary to open the gates of  schools and universities to girls and allow them to study like men.

Earlier, the Afghanistan Scholars’ Association had also asked the caretaker government: “According to Sharia texts, it is clear that a believing woman has the right to learn Sharia and contemporary sciences just like a man.”

“For this reason, we ask the Islamic Emirate to open the gates of girls’ education and remove all obstacles from their way.”

Pajhwok Afghan News tried to get answers from officials of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in this regard, but failed to contact them.

However, according to a report, Acting Minister of Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani spoke about government’s efforts to find a suitable solution to reopening educational institutions for girls on Tuesday during his visit to western Herat.  province

According to a Pajhwok report, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had previously said that no one has a religious reason to oppose education of girls.

He added: “I have said many times and now I say with clear words that education is mandatory for men and women. Schools should be opened to men and women without discrimination; Absolute education is obligatory for men and women, the gates of schools and schools should be opened for everyone as soon as possible.”



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