Three newly built, coeducational schools in the Helmand province Afghanistan were destroyed by arson on Friday by suspected Taliban militants. The latest attacks follow a January 8 torching of an elementary school serving 1,350 female and male students in Kandahar.
In the past two months, in separate attacks a male teacher was killed by militants for teaching girls, a male headmaster of a coed school was beheaded, and a male student at a coed school was shot and killed. Hayatullah Rifiqi, education chief for the Kandahar province, said that despite the recent attacks, “…even now, in remote districts, teachers are teaching. They tell me, ‘The only thing that will take Afghanistan out of its troubles is education, and whatever price we pay, we have to do it’,” according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The Taliban had banned all education of girls from kindergarten on up. Since the fall of the Taliban, reemerging Taliban supporters and militias have destroyed dozens of schools for girls as well as coed schools.
Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 2/2/06; Reuters 1/28/06; Associated Press 1/8/06