8 June 2023
The UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the reported decision of the interim Afghan government to halt operations of organizations aiding Afghan education would be “horrendous”.
Asked about UNICEF’s concerns regarding the possible halt to operations of international organizations aiding the Afghan educational sector, the UN secretary-general’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said: “If this would come to pass this would be another horrendous step backwards for the people of Afghanistan.”
“We’ve not gotten anything official, anything in writing,” he said, adding “every person has a right to an education.”
“The closing of the girls’ schools and closing of the private organizations in the field of education, these are the issues that have slowed down the educational growth in Afghanistan,” said Suraya Paikan, a women’s rights activist.
The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, neither denied nor confirmed the issue but said that the people of Afghanistan need assistance in various areas including education.
“The people of Afghanistan need to be supported in various areas, particularly in education, but the independence of the people of Afghanistan should be considered. The Islamic values and national interest should be considered. The assistance should be coordinated with the government,” Mujahid said.
Political analysts said that the ban on the activities of the international organizations in the educational sector will harm the future of Afghanistan.
“This will have a negative impact on the education of children and the quality of education in Afghanistan,” said Aziz Maarij, political analyst.
Earlier, UNICEF said in a statement that “as the lead agency for the education cluster in Afghanistan, UNICEF is deeply concerned by reports that over 500,000 children, including over 300,000 girls, could lose out on quality learning through Community Based Education within a month if international non-governmental organizations working in the field of education are no longer allowed to operate and if handovers to national NGOs are done without comprehensive assessment and capacity building.”