Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Afghan Schools Open, But Under The Taliban's Rules

Afghan Schools Open, But Under The Taliban's Rules

Antonio Giustozzi and Claudio Franco
Jan 5, 2012

Afghanistan's state-run schools are experiencing a renaissance, with some reopening for the first time in nearly a decade. Acid attacks on girls, murdered teachers, bombings of classrooms - these are on the decline.

But the reason for these openings is not because Nato and Afghan forces are winning the war for security. Rather, it's because the Afghan government, unable to bring security where needed, has begun to rely on secret agreements that give the Taliban greater say in the country's education.

The deals work like this: in exchange for not attacking students or teachers, Taliban commanders in the field - many with rigidly conservative views on women, Islam and western curriculum - dictate what is taught in the schools, and by whom. Schools are even employing teachers chosen specifically by the Taliban supporters.

Hundreds of schools have re-opened in this manner. Most are schools for boys, but a number of girl's schools have also started re-opening in the last several months. more

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