Taliban seek return of university professors who fled Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 25 (EFE).- The Taliban are trying to ensure the return of university professors who had fled Afghanistan due to an atmosphere perceived as hostile to education, lack of opportunities and regressive measures such as a ban on higher education for women since the Islamists seized power in 2021.

“We have sent different delegations to various countries, so that those who are good instructors and are living abroad, return to the country,” Neda Mohammad Nadim, the Taliban government’s acting minister for higher education, said on Monday during an event in the northern Balkh province.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 after a sudden withdrawal of United States’ troops, an exodus of university teachers from the country has virtually emptied out centers of higher education.

“The reduction of salaries by the Islamic Emirate, the ban on women’s education, suspending projects in higher education fields and cuts in international (aid) funds caused economic problems for university lecturers,” university lecturer Ebadullah Sahar told EFE.

He said that these conditions had resulted in a chronic shortage of university teachers in Afghanistan.

Specifically, the ban on higher education for women has proved to be a crushing blow for the profession.

“Many government lecturers had jobs in private universities to survive economically, but with the ban on female education, the private universities downsized due to financial problems,” Hijratullah Akif, another university teacher, told EFE.

Dozens of professors had resigned in protest against the restrictions on women’s education in Afghanistan, the only country in the world to have such a ban in place.

The Taliban government has announced that Afghan students would now receive education as per a newly developed curriculum, although its details and format have not been released yet. EFE


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