Taliban Shuts Down Turkish Schools in Afghanistan


Date posted: October 5, 2010

Kate Clark

Taleban shuts more Afghan schools

BBC reported that Taleban shut down schools opened by Gulen Movement in Afghanistan. Schools were providing contemperary education for free. Girls and women are hard hit by the Taleban’s stance on education. Below is the story by BBC.

Six schools run by a Turkish Islamic group have been shut down in Afghanistan.

In a country where the state education system is suffering from a chronic lack of resources, the Turkish schools were rare centres of educational excellence.

The group said problems emerged when the Taleban demanded control of their finances.

Some 2,000 pupils attended the six Turkish schools, which were free.

They had a curriculum which was strong in science and languages as well as religion and they were well resourced.

International Mazar-i Sharif Afghan Turk High School

International Mazar-i Sharif Afghan Turk High School

Lack of resources

Almost uniquely in Afghanistan, each school had a laboratory and a library.

A representative for the schools said they had been ready to accept many of the Taleban’s demands – that teachers should grow long beards, for example, and pupils wear turbans – but he said they could not agree to hand over their budget to the Taleban.

He said the Taleban had wanted all the Turkish teachers to leave the country, leaving just one official who would hand the budget over to the Taleban education ministry for it to distribute.

The representatives said they were faced with no choice but to close the schools.

The Taleban may try to keep them running using Afghan teachers. But without proper resources they are likely to deteriorate to the level of the rest of the state education system.

Parents and teachers there complain that there is hardly any funding for salaries or books and that each year the curriculum becomes more and more weighed down by religious subjects.

Expense for poor

The Taleban has also ordered all students in private English and computer courses to wear turbans, the headdress that the Taleban says is an Islamic tradition.

At the start of the year, they ordered all state sector pupils beyond grade three to wear turbans, a considerable expense for poorer families.

Computer and English students in Kabul said the religious police had visited their classrooms, threatening to expel students and close down any school which defied the order.

Story was originally published on http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1336472.stm, Thursday, 17 May, 2001.

Note: The schools were re-opened later years. Below are two more stories about the Gulen-inspired schools in Afghanistan.

Medal given to Turkish schools in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has honored Turkish schools in his country, awarding them a prestigious state medal during a ceremony in Kabul on Monday.

The ceremony was attended by Afghan Education Minister Farooq Wardak; the director general of Afghan-Turkish high schools, Hikmet Çoban; and a number of Afghan deputies. Çoban was given the Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan medal, which is one of Afghanistan’s most prestigious medals.

Four students from the Afghan-Turkish Girls’ High School were also given gold medals for their success at the International Environmental Project Olympiad (INEPO) in Turkey.

The school’s principal, Ubeydullah Dinler, and a teacher at the school, Gülbahar Dinler, were also given awards for training very successful students at their school.

Praising Turkish schools in his country, Karzai said: “Citizens of Turkey, [your country is] a sister and friend to Afghanistan. [You have helped] prepare Afghan students for international competitions by equipping [our] schools with modern and scientific equipment through undaunted efforts.”

There are currently approximately 2,600 students enrolled in eight Turkish schools in Afghanistan. The Turkish schools employ 100 Turkish and 100 Afghan teachers.

Story was published on Today’s Zaman on June 10, 2009, http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=177616

Afghan-Turkish-School-2British Foreign Secretary praises Turkish schools in Afghanistan

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül have discussed educational projects that Turkey has been carrying out in Afghanistan, winning the praise of the visiting official, according to information obtained from diplomatic sources.

“As you know, during the Taliban regime, girls were not allowed to attend school. Turkey has opened schools to educate these lost girls. I visited the opening of this school in Kabul, and 1,500 students will receive an education at that school,” Gül said to Beckett, referring to a February visit to the Afghan Girls High School.

Beckett in turn said: “I didn’t know Turkey was playing such an important role in Afghanistan. Your disclosures are very important and show Turkey’s role and importance.” The first Afghan-Turkish school was opened in 1996 in Afghanistan; they now number six.

Gül said Afghanistan’s leader, Hamid Karzai, had demanded more schools from him as he noted that that the Turkish Armed Forces would assume command of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan for a third time.

This story was published on Today’s Zaman on 28 March 2007, Wednesday, http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=106684


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