Taliban to divide study at universities by gender

The acting minister of higher education in the Taliban's caretaker government says women in Afghanistan can continue to study in universities but students will be divided by gender when taking classes.

Abdul Baqi Haqqani made the comment at a news conference on Sunday in the capital Kabul. He outlined a policy on education, which the Taliban had denied to girls and women when they were last in power.

Haqqani said the Taliban will start building on "what exists today." But he added they will change any practices that contradict Islamic teachings and Afghan culture.

The acting minister indicated male students will take classes in different buildings from women, classrooms will be split between male and female students, or that classes will be staggered by gender.

Haqqani also suggested students will be taught in principle by teachers of the same gender as them. He added that female students must wear hijabs.

The acting minister expressed his intention to reopen national universities, calling on teachers to return to their workplaces.

A female student of Kabul University told NHK that teachers she knows have quit their jobs and students have also fled Afghanistan. She added that she wants to go abroad as she cannot have hope for the future in Afghanistan.