September 21, 2023

Afghanistan: Only male students to attend University Entrance Examination, says official 

The National Examination Authority of Afghanistan (NEXA) said that as per a letter issued by the Ministry of Higher Education, only male students can attend the University Entrance Examination this year, reported TOLO News. NEXA said on Twitter that the decision was made by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and sent in a letter to the authority.

“A letter arrived from the Ministry of Higher Education saying that only male students should be recruited. So, this is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education to decide who should be giving tests and who should not. NEXA has no responsibility for this,” the authority said. However, women commented that the government has failed and their removal from society will impact negatively on society, according to TOLO News. Suraya Paikan, a Women’s Rights Activist said, “Unfortunately, the interim government has failed in this regard and has not been able to reopen the doors of the schools and universities for the girls.” Meanwhile, the female students called on the Afghan interim government to allow them to attend classes, reported TOLO News. “We should not be forced to migrate from Afghanistan because of lack of access to education,” said Sahar, a student said.

“We call on the Islamic Emirate to respect us as humans, as girls, and reopen the doors of the schools and allow us to take university entrance examinations,” said Kubra, a student. Some of the male students also called for the education opportunities provided to girls in the university, according to TOLO News. Elham, another student said, “We call on the Taliban to provide educational opportunities to females, as the girls also have the right to education.” Meanwhile, the US special envoy for Afghan women and human rights, Rina Amiri took to her Twitter account and said, “Stand with Afghan girls’ demand to be allowed to take university exams. Their success will be Afghanistan’s success, leading to food on the table, an improved economy & future. The Taliban should put the country and people before their ideology.” According to the NEXA, the examinations will be held in five rounds. The first round will be held in 11 provinces, the second round in 12 provinces, the third round in 10 provinces, and the fourth round will be held in Kabul. Moreover, the fifth round will include the students who missed or failed the previous tests, TOLO News reported. Last month in honour of Malala Day, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West said that women and girls in Afghanistan should have complete access to education, reported Khaama Press. West took to his Twitter account and said, “Afghan women and girls are a tremendous asset to the future of Afghanistan and deserve full access to education to realize their potential.” The Taliban banned girls from secondary school in March 2022, prohibited women from working for humanitarian aid agencies, and barred women from pursuing higher education in December last year, reported Khaama Press. Earlier in May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that the Muslim world condemns the Taliban’s ban on higher education for women. (ANI)