The Taliban administration in Afghanistan has announced that girls’ high schools will be closed, hours after they reopened for the first time in nearly seven months.
The backtracking by the Taliban means female students above the sixth grade will not be able to attend school.
A Ministry of Education notice said on Wednesday that schools for girls would be closed until a plan was drawn up in accordance with Islamic law and Afghan culture, according to Bakhtar News Agency, a government news agency.
“We inform all girls high schools and those schools that are having female students above class six that they are off until the next order,” said the notice.
“Yes, it’s true,” Taliban spokesman Inamullah Samangani told AFP when asked to confirm reports that girls had been ordered home.
He would not immediately explain the reasoning, while education ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmad Rayan said: “We are not allowed to comment on this.”
“It’s very disappointing that girls, who were waiting for this day, made to return from school. It shows that Taliban are not reliable and cannot fulfill their promises,” Shukria Barakzai, an Afghan politician and journalist based in London, said.
“It means that secondary and high schools are banned for girls. Even primary schools are not open across the country. Most of the provinces do not have girls’ primary schools,” Barakzai told Al Jazeera from London.
“It shows that the Taliban is exactly the same as before – they are against girls’ education.