The Ministry of Education (MoE) has banned girl students above the age of 12 in state-run and private schools from singing anthems in public events, the MoE Spokesperson Najiba Arian told Kabul Now.
She said that the decision was made following complaints raised by the students and their parents.
The news broke out to the media after the Education Directorate of Kabul sent an official letter to state-run and private schools. The letter instructs all schools across Kabul province not to allow girl students above the age of 12 to perform or sing anthems in public events.
Schools need to make sure that members of anthem singing teams of girl students should not be over the age of 12, part of the letter, signed by Ahmad Zamir Guwara, Director of Kabul Education Directorate, reads. “The events attended by all-female participants are exempted [from this ban],” the letter notes.
Kabul education director has emphasized that except for female teachers and trainers the “male trainers” are not allowed to train anthem singing teams of girl students. The education directorate also warns that school principals will be held accountable for any violation in this regard and will face legal punishments.
Confirming the contents of the letter, the MoE added that it will be implemented for all schools across the country.
Officials at some private schools also confirmed that the Union of Kabul Private Schools has taken the decision but schools have yet to officially receive the letter.
The decision sparked widespread and severe criticisms among Afghan social media users who stated that the government is taking preparation to welcome the Taliban’s return. Ironically pointing out to a recent remark by the First Vice President Amruallah Saleh, the social media users asked him to look at his own government decisions.
In his remarks against the US Draft Peace Agreement proposed to the Afghan government and the Taliban, particularly against establishing a high council of Islamic jurisprudence, Saleh had told he will never accept this proposal as it will allow graduates of Haqqania Madrassa to take “religious test” from Afghans.