The Taliban acting Higher Education Minister Shaikh Abdul Baqi Haqqani has made an announcement that the public universities will be opened next month, i.e. February, across the country without specifying whether female students would be able to return or not.
According to Reuters, the minister said universities in warmer provinces will reopen from February 2, while those in colder areas would reopen on February 26.
The minister did not say what arrangements, if any, would be made for female students. However, earlier this month, government officials said that they hope to open all schools for girls and women in the country after March 21 but stressed that girls and boys must be completely segregated in schools.
Since Taliban’s takeover in August, girls in most of Afghanistan have not been allowed back to school beyond grade seven. However, private universities in Kabul are still operating.
Western governments have made education for female students a part of their demands as the Taliban seek more foreign aid and the unfreezing of overseas assets for which they have called Muslim countries to recognise them and made a recent visit to Oslo, Norway, where they presented their demands.