Education must be above politics, says UNICEF

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KABUL: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has voiced concerns over the closure of secondary and high schools for girls in Afghanistan since the Taliban return to power after two decades.


Paloma Escudero, UNICEF’s Director of Global Support and Communications, on Saturday said that education should not be taken hostage to politics. In a tour of a girl’s elementary school in Kabul, he said that Afghan girls over sixth grade have been deprived of the right to basic education for more than a month.


“Afghan girls require assistance now more than ever before”, he said urging the international community, especially donors, to continue to assist girls in Afghanistan.


UNICEF pays salaries of about 200,000 Afghan teachers each month and has distributed 35 million textbooks across the country so far, Escudero said.


UN Secretary-General António Guterres had previously warned that closing girls’ schools would hurt Afghanistan’s future.


The US State Department has taken a stance against the Taliban by stating that political and economic progress cannot be accomplished in Afghanistan if girls continue to be deprived of education.