September 24, 2023

Afghanistan: Girl students urge Taliban to permit them to appear in university entrance exam

Female students, who have completed the 12th Class examination, said that they want to participate in the University entry (Kankor) exam, Afghanistan-based TOLO News reported, adding that they urged the Taliban to permit them to participate like boys in this year’s exam. Sahar said she went to her school for the entrance examination form. However, she was not given an entrance exam card. Another graduate student Zahra said that the school did not give them the Kankor exam form, according to TOLO News report.

Sahar said, “This year we went to our schools to receive the entrance exam form, but they told us that they have not yet given any information from the higher education department about taking the entrance exam for female students.” Zahra said, “When we went to school, they didn’t allow us to receive the kankor exam form and said that still nothing is clear now about girls’ entrance exam.” Meanwhile, some female students urged Taliban to reopen schools and universities for them. Zakira, a graduate student, urged the Taliban to reopen universities and schools for girls. She said that female students were following all the laws imposed by Taliban, according to TOLO News report.

Zakira said, “Whatever law they say, we observe; they said hijab we wear hijab, we just want them to reopen universities and schools for girls.” Farkhonda, another graduate student said, “Reopen education doors for girls so they can serve their country.” Azada Bakhshi, a women’s rights activist, said removing women and girls from society will bring unfortunate consequences. Taliban-led Ministry of Higher Education did not issue any statement about the entrance examination of female students. The Taliban-appointed National Examinations Authority has said that they have distributed Kankor entrance forms to 150,000 students across the country. However, it has not mentioned the name of female students. Fazal Haq Hashimi, the spokesman of the Taliban-led National Examinations Authority said, “150,000 kankor entrance forms have been distributed for the 1402 entrance examination, and 106,617 will be enrolled in higher and semi-higher education.” The Taliban-led National Examinations Authority said that this year’s entrance exam will be held in five rounds. Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a new report said that the Taliban continues to restrict the rights of women and girls, Afghanistan-based TOLO News reported. The seven-page report that covers the period from May to June highlighted the restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women. The report said, “On 3 May 2023, the de facto Ministry of Public Health announced that only male medical students would be permitted to take the ‘Exit Supplementary Exam’ in order to pursue further specialized medical studies,” TOLO News reported. It further said that the move comes in addition to the earlier bans preventing women from appearing in the medical school exit examinations. The report said that the UNAMA recorded instances when the Taliban took measures to impose previously announced restrictions on women’s freedom of movement and participation in employment. (ANI)