Talking to Afghan Islamic Press, a representative of Helmand education department, Daud Afghan said they had started talks with Taliban figures for the reopening of schools about 13 days ago. They reached at the conclusion of signing an accord, he added.
“We reached at the conclusion with Taliban figures that they would not hinder education. About 100 schools, most of them located in northern districts of Helmand, would be reopened. The Taliban have assured us that the teachers could go to the schools without any trouble. The education inspection teams could also visit the schools for evaluation. The military officials would not be allowed to pay visit to the schools,” he said.
According to Afghan, the Taliban have assured the education department officials that they would not use the school buildings for military purposes. The Taliban would also ensure monitoring of the schools, he said. The teachers or students who do not attend the schools would be declared as dismissed. The syllabus of education department would be taught at schools in the areas falling under the control of Taliban .
To a question about women education, Afghan said: “Currently we have three female school teachers who go to schools in the areas under the control of Taliban in Garmser district. We have demanded of Taliban to allow women in other areas to go to schools. In response, the Taliban have agreed that small girls would be allowed to go to schools. If the situation is favorable, the Taliban said they had no issues with the education of grown up girls.”
Similarly, he said the Taliban assured that the projects related to schools could be executed freely. The Taliban also allowed the World Food Programme to provide edibles and other items to deserving people.
He said the Taliban have assured to extend support in every aspect of education.
According to Helmand education department director, all the actions had been taken as per their agreement.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi confirmed the signing of the accord.
“We are striving to expand the circle of education. Schools would be made operational in the areas where needed. We have agreed to keep schools away of war actions. Schools would not be attacked. Educational content would be sent to schools on time. Standard teachers would be appointed in schools,” he said.
The agreement signed between Taliban and education department representatives has 10 articles. In the accord, the Taliban have assured the opening, protection, security and other aspects of education.
Five persons from each side have signed the agreement. From the Taliban side, representatives of education and training commission including Qari Muslim and Sadaat have signed the accord.