US State Department said the decision – by the Islamic Emirate – to prevent girls from attending secondary schools was a “disappointment and despair” for millions of Afghans, calling it “very regrettable.”
“This – in doing so, the Taliban reversed commitments that they had made very publicly and commitments that we had discussed with them privately as well,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press briefing on Friday.
He said the US has continued to stand by the Afghans in terms of providing humanitarian leadership to the contribution as well as “in terms of what we’re doing diplomatically on the world stage together with our allies and partners.”
Price said the decision to ban schools for girls students beyond grade six was “inexplicable reversal of the commitments” – which “they (the Islamic Emirate) have made to their own people” in some ways.
“Holding back more than half of any country’s population is not a recipe for success for Afghanistan or anywhere else around the world,” he said. “No country can succeed economically, no country can succeed politically, no country can succeed on any basis when half of its population or more than half of its population is unable to go to school, ultimately unable to join the – join a workforce.”
Price said that the US and allies are working to support education in Afghanistan.
“This was a topic of discussion during the extended troika that Tom West attended late last month in Tunxi, China, and we have been very clear that if this decision is not reversed and if it’s not reversed promptly, it will hold significant, serious implications for our ability to engage with the Taliban and the Taliban’s desire to have better relations not only with the United States but with the international community,” he explained.
This comes as Afghan religious scholars in multiple gatherings asked for the reopening of secondary schools for girls, calling it an unjust decision to keep a big part of society away from education.
However, the Islamic Emirate has vowed that their leadership will make a final decision on reopening secondary schools.