Taliban appointed Kabul university chancellor sparks outrage

Kabul, Sep 22 (EFE).- The Taliban’s recent appointment of a new chancellor at the Kabul University, the biggest and most important higher education institute in the country, on Wednesday triggered outrage among the academic community.

A journalism graduate Ashraf Ghariat, described as a “religious man,” on Tuesday replaced well-known scholar Usman Baburi, even though he allegedly lacks the experience to occupy a post which has been so far held by some of the most respected academicians in the country,

“The dismissal of an experienced lecturer, Usman Baburi and appointment of an inexperienced young man, who lacks academic credentials and degrees in an important position such as Kabul University, (…) is a political, unwise and uncalculated decision,” Fazal Hadi Wazin, a university lecturer and political analyst told EFE.

He said this was another stop by the Taliban to “weaken” the Afghan educational system, after separating men and women in university classrooms, even as girls’ school continue to remain closed.

A professor at the Kabul university told EFE on the condition of anonymity that the appointment was “a clear insult to hundreds of university professors with PhD and master’s degrees,” apart from being in “clear violation of the rules.”

“This shows educational degrees and credentials are no longer a criterion in appointments in educational institutions and that is bad news,” he added.

Zarif Aminyar, the former economic adviser of ousted Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, criticized “radical” Ghariat’s lack of academic credentials on Twitter, as the latter is primarily known for being a “qari” or a reciter of the Quran.

Aminyar emphasized that “22,000 students attend Kabul University, of these, nearly 43 percent are female.”

The Taliban Education Minister Nurrullah Muneer had said that doctorates and master’s-degree holders had no value in an Afghanistan controlled by the fundamentalists, soon after the group announced key members of its interim cabinet.

The government is dominated by Taliban members from the Pashtun community, and does not include any woman. EFE

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