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Senin, 06 September 2021

Afghan universities deserted as Taliban impose new rules - NEWS.com.au

Usually, campus corridors at Gharjistan University in Kabul on the first day of term would be packed full of students, but on September 6, there was a strikingly low turnout

Universities in Kabul were almost empty on the first day of the Afghan school year, as professors and students wrestled with the Taliban's restrictive new rules for the classroom.

The Taliban have promised a softer rule than during their first stint in power from 1996-2001, when women's freedoms in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed and they were banned from higher education.

Women can only attend class if they wear an abaya -- a flowing robe -- and a niqab -- a face veil with a small window to see through -- and are separated from men, the Taliban said.

"Our students wear the hijab, not the niqab," he added, referring to a headscarf.

"We said we didn't accept it because it will be difficult to do," Rahmani told AFP. 

From now on at private colleges and universities, which have mushroomed since the Taliban's first rule ended, women must only be taught by other women, or "old men", and use a women-only entrance.

So far, the Taliban has said nothing about public universities.

For some students, however, it was a relief that women would still be able to attend university at all under a new Taliban regime.

"They are happy to go back to university, albeit in hijab," she said.

Jalil Tadjlil, a spokesman for Ibn-e Sina University in the capital, said separate entrances had already been created for men and women. 

The university posted a picture online of male and female students separated by a curtain.

- 'Everything changed' -

But on Monday, there was a strikingly low turnout at Kabul's universities, leaving education leaders wondering just how many young, talented people have fled the country as part of the "brain drain".

He estimated up to 30 percent of the students left Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control in the middle of August.

Reza Ramazan, a computer science teacher at the university said women students were particularly at risk when travelling to campus.

For 28-year-old computer science student Amir Hussein, "everything changed completely" after the Taliban takeover.

"Most of them want to leave Afghanistan."

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2021-09-07 00:18:19Z
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