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Taliban's education minister comments on relevance of higher education stir debate

08 ستمبر 2021
Students attend class under new classroom conditions at a university in Kabul. Reuters Photo
Students attend class under new classroom conditions at a university in Kabul. Reuters Photo

Shortly after being named as Afghanistan's education minister, Taliban leader Sheikh Molvi Noorullah Munir questioned the relevance of higher education.

"Today, in Afghanistan, no education degree is valuable but the one who gets religious (deeni) education is respected," Sheikh Munir said in a video which is being widely shared.

The video has raised several questions about the context in which he was speaking and how it will bode for education in Afghanistan. The Taliban had banned education for girls when they were first in power but have vowed to allow women to continue with education at all levels.

A new interim government drawn exclusively from loyalist ranks formally began work Wednesday. The Taliban had promised a more inclusive government this time.

However, all the top positions were handed to key leaders from the movement and the Haqqani network.

Responding to Sheikh Munir's video, some users said he did not mean to downplay the importance of education insofar as he was commenting on the value placed on secular education and how religious education was more important.

However, by and large, the minister's views have been met with much concern among people who fear their rights may be in jeopardy under the Taliban.