In yet another step to prove that things are turning normal in war-torn Afghanistan, the Taliban – which has promised a more liberal government has given permissions for the private universities to reopen. While the organization resumed classes, the pictures that revealed the ‘new normal’ for Afghan college students shocked netizens.
In photos that are going viral on social media, students were segregated by gender and are divided by a curtain in the middle of the class. According to the orders issued by the Taliban Higher Education Ministry, classes for boys and girls in universities should be different. If segregation is not possible in any case, the universities were reportedly instructed to put curtains in between.
Universities are ordered to recruit female faculty for teaching female students and if this is not possible then “old men of good character” can fill in. Female students must leave five minutes earlier to stop men and women from mixing. Female students must stay in waiting rooms till their male counterparts have left the building.
However, there was no mandate for women to wear a fully-covered burqa, but the niqab effectively covered most of the face, leaving only the eyes open.