Forcibly expelled from school in Afghanistan but refuses to give up education |

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Forcibly expelled from school in Afghanistan but refuses to give up education |

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A year after Taliban rule, 17-year-old Mursal Fasihi still doesn’t believe he can’t go back to school. A once avid student, Fasihi, like all secondary school-age girls, cannot return to the classroom because of the rules imposed by the country’s de facto leaders.

“It is not right for them to order us to make a decision and go with Mahram. [a male companion]should stop going to school with their faces covered,” she said, referring to a series of directives that effectively restricted women and girls from participating in public life.

The last time Fasihi saw the inside of the school was in July 2021, when she took her grade 11 final exam. A month after him, the Taliban swept Afghanistan and took Kabul on 15 August.

“I miss my friends, my teachers, my school.”

Some of her friends were able to leave Afghanistan and are now continuing their education abroad. “I miss my friends, my teachers, my school. My school used to be a great place, but now I can’t go there,” she says.

Her dream of becoming a doctor is now unclear. However, her hope does not disappear. To make the most of her time and keep her productive, Fasihi uses her Youth Peer Educators, a youth-led regional initiative supported by her UNFPA, the United Nations Reproductive Health Agency. I joined Network (Y-PEER).

Y-PEER focuses on building life skills to meet the challenges young people face. Mr. Fasihi attended his session in training last July and now he is one of his 25 trainers in Y-PEER in Afghanistan.

This training allowed me to look at various problems that Afghan youth face on a daily basis. As an educated young woman in Kabul city, she was unaware that many girls, especially those living in poverty and in remote areas, suffer from negative experiences such as early marriage and adolescent pregnancy. .

unprecedented increase in poverty

An unprecedented rise in poverty as a result of the economic crisis associated with the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan has brought the discussion of these concerns to the fore. In desperation, many families have resorted to marrying off their young daughters and making them responsible for their care and protection.

“How can a child bring another child into the world and raise it?” Fasihi points out. “At our age, we are just children. We should aim big and study. It’s not time for us to get married yet.”

waiting for the dark clouds to pass

Although Fasihi’s desire for formal education has been put on hold indefinitely, she finds meaning and purpose in being a peer educator for others.

In addition to educating young people about the harm of early marriage and adolescent pregnancy, she can share hope for a better future.

“When the dark clouds pass, we see a bright morning,” she told UNFPA.

“I hope young girls don’t give up. It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to cry, but you can’t give up. I hope they keep learning in any way they can. Inshallah, someone Either you can help us or school may reopen,” she said. “Our bright morning will come.”