Rows of teenage girls recite lines from the Quran while rocking back and forth in a madrassa in the Afghan capital under the watchful supervision of a religious instructor.

Since the Taliban took back control in August 2021, there has been an increase in the number of Islamic schools around Afghanistan, and young ladies are now more frequently seen enrolling in lessons after being barred from secondary schools.

The girls concentrate on memorising the Arabic translation of the Quran, which most of them do not comprehend, rather than arithmetic or literature.

Individuals who desire to understand the verses’ meaning study independently, with an instructor translating and explaining the Torah in their native tongue.

AFP went to three madrassas in Kabul and Kandahar, a city in the south, where experts claimed that the proportion of female students has risen since the previous year.

Farah’s dream of becoming a lawyer was crushed when Taliban officials forbade girls from attending secondary school and, months later, forbade women from enrolling in universities.

The Taliban administration follows a strict interpretation of Islam.

Some officials claim that the reclusive supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada and his inner circle of religious advisers—who are opposed to women’s and girls’ education—pass down decisions.

As Akhundzada establishes his sharia-based Islamic Emirate, he has ordered the construction of hundreds of additional madrassas.

Girls’ schools in Kabul have been shut down for a number of reasons, including the requirement for Islamic clothing and segregated classrooms, both of which were mostly already in place.

The administration is adamant that schools will finally reopen.

The biggest issue preventing progress with the world community, which has denounced the removal of liberties for women and girls, is education.

The Taliban government, which is struggling to maintain an economy when more than half the population faces famine, has not received recognition from any nation.

Experts disagree on the educational usefulness of madrassas, claiming that they do not provide students with the skills needed for gainful employment as adults.

There are madrassas that have a reputation for being militant all throughout the world.

Many of the Taliban’s top officials received their education at the Pakistani madrassa known as the “University of Jihad,” Darul Uloom Haqqania.

The administration is “thinking day and night on how to increase madrassas,” according to Niamatullah Ulfat, head of Islamic Studies at the Kandahar province’s education department.

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