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UN in Talks About Handing Over Afghan Teaching Projects to Taliban: Report


The UN Children’s agency, UNICEF, said it was discussing with Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan “timelines and practicalities” for a possible required handover of its education programs and that classes would continue. 

Aid officials said that the Taliban had made it clear that outside organizations could no longer be involved in education programmes, a move denounced by the UN but has not yet been confirmed by Afghan authorities, Reuters reported. 

UNICEF said it had received assurances from the education ministry that its community-based classes, which educate 500,000 students, would continue while they discussed the matter.

“As the lead agency for the education cluster in Afghanistan, UNICEF is engaged in constructive discussions with the de facto Ministry of Education and appreciates the commitment from the de facto minister to keep all … classes continuing while discussions take place about timelines and practicalities,” UNICEF’s Afghanistan spokesperson, Samantha Mort, told Reuters.

“To minimize disruption to children’s learning, it is imperative that any handover to national NGOs is done strategically and includes comprehensive assessment and capacity building.”

According to UNICEF, community-based schools in various regions of Afghanistan educate at least 500,000 kids, including 300,000 girls.

According to Reuters, a Taliban official did not respond to a request for comment. The Ministry of Education has not officially endorsed the policy.

A “horrendous step backwards” was what the UN spokesperson in New York called the proposed change, according to Reuters.

Since the Taliban took control of the country, they have banned schools beyond the sixth grade, and since last December, female students have been banned from universities.

The move has been criticized by international and Islamic organizations, which called on the Taliban-ruled government to lift the ban and respect human rights, including women’s rights, education and work. 

However, the ban on women’s education continues and has not lifted the restrictions.