Male and female students to study in separate classrooms in Afghanistan

Male and female students to study in separate classrooms in Afghanistan

While mixed classes will be banned, Afghan women will reportedly be permitted to study at university under Taliban (the movement banned in Russia) rule, according to a statement made by the group's higher education minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani.

The hardline militant group that stormed to power in mid-August after ousting the Western-back government have vowed to rule differently compared to their 1990s stint, when girls and women were banned from education.

"The people of Afghanistan will continue their higher education in the light of Shariah in safety without being in a mixed male and female environment," Haqqani said at a meeting with elders on Sunday.

He said the Taliban want to "create a reasonable and Islamic curriculum that is in line with our Islamic, national and historical values and, on the other hand, is able to compete with other countries," Daily Sabah reported.

Girls and boys will also be segregated at primary and secondary schools, which was already common throughout Afghanistan. The group have pledged to respect progress made in women's rights, but only according to their strict interpretation of Shariah.

Whether women can work, get education at all levels and be able to mix with men have been some of the most pressing questions. But the Taliban rebranding is being treated with skepticism, with many questioning whether the group will stick to its pledges.

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