KABUL, Afghanistan – Following the fall of Kabul, Salgai, daughter of Musakhan, stood as the topper of Kankor, Afghanistan’s annual nationwide university entrance exam.
Female participants formed around 40% of the Kankor takers in Kabul.
“According to the Ministry of Higher Education records, women account for nearly 30% of students at private and state-run universities as of 1397 Afghan Education Calendar (2018)”, a Public Relations Officer of Avicenna University says.
“Higher education is part of civil and social participation,” he continues. “The newly adopted exclusive social policies for women participation could demotivate women substantially to earn higher education,” he adds.
Women’s education has been one of the main concerns for many students since the Taliban seized control of the country. While the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan in the 1990s, women were banned from studying or working.
On Saturday 18, high schools resumed for boys. The decree allowing boys and male teachers to return did not mention girls, who continue at home. It raises fears that female students older than six grade could be permanently banned from education as the Taliban did in the past. For now, a grey curtain separates the desks of male and female students in this private university in Kabul.