The Taliban plans to reopen public universities that have been closed since their takeover of Afghanistan last August, Reuters reported, however it’s unclear if women will be allowed to attend.
The Taliban’s acting higher education minister, Shaikh Abdul Baqi Haqqani, announced on Sunday that universities in warmer provinces will reopen on Feb. 2 and schools in the colder areas will reopen on Feb. 26.
Haqqani didn’t address the question of whether female students would be able to study at universities, per Reuters. Taliban officials in the past have indicated female students could possibly learn in separate classes.
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Private universities in Afghanistan have already reopened, but many female students haven’t been able to return to class, Reuters noted.
Western governments have pushed for girls education as one of its key demands in negotiations with the Taliban to increase foreign aid and unfreeze Afghanistan’s state assets held overseas.
The Taliban took over Afghanistan when the U.S. withdrew in August, regaining full control of the country for the first time since 2001, when U.S. troops arrived and toppled their government in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The new government has reopened local high schools for male students in most parts of the country, while also allowing girls to attend secondary schools in some areas.