Afghanistan (MNN) — In January, the Taliban promised to have girls back in school by March 21, which begins the Afghan New Year. Taliban leaders claim this is a question of “capacity.”
The Taliban has not officially banned education for girls, but they have closed many girls’ schools and essentially barred high-school education. The girls that do attend school must wear full burqas and be taught by female teachers.
Joe Willey with SAT-7 USA says, “I think it’s safe to say the people of Afghanistan (and really, as well as the entire international community) are waiting until March to see if this timeline that’s been given is correct. And honestly, it’s hard to know if it will happen in March, or if it will happen in the future at all.”
Schools still operating
One school meets in a cave in the central highlands of Afghanistan. A former university student teaches basic English, math, and the Quran. This school has escaped the focus of the Taliban so far.
Another school for girls had to house Taliban soldiers and feared being shut down. The headteacher contacted Taliban officials, demanding they observe the Islamic rights of girls to receive an education.
SAT-7 continues to broadcast the hope of Jesus into Afghanistan. This includes shows about how much Jesus values women.
Willey talks about one program called New Identity. “It shows women that they have an intrinsic value. It addresses from a biblical and psychological perspective the emotional struggles of women, young and old, that live in a culture that has traditionally not valued them in the way that a man is valued.” New Identity broadcasts in Iran and Tajikistan as well.
Pray the hope of Jesus will bring healing to Afghanistan.
(Header photo courtesy of Steve Evans from India and USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)