Recently, under the new government in Afghanistan, the Taliban excluded girls from attending Afghan secondary schools. Only boys and male teachers are permitted into classrooms. Meanwhile, schoolgirls told the BBC they were absolutely shocked for not being allowed into classrooms. “Everything looks very dark,” one said.
Taliban officials who took control last month added that they were working to come to a firm conclusion on this matter. Meanwhile, many females believe that it is the return of the regime of the 1990s when the Taliban restricted girls’ and women’s rights.
Under their new government, Taliban officials added that the women will be permitted to study and work in accordance with the group’s interpretation of Islamic religious law. However, women who work have been instructed to stay at home until the security situation improves. Taliban fighters have beaten up women protesting against the all-male interim government.
Best performing states for girls’ education in India
On the other side of the coin, a data released by the government shows that Kerala is the best-performing state for the education of girls. A survey named Household Social Consumption: Education was published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in January 2020 has named Kerala as possessing the highest age-specific attendance ratio (ASAR) for women including urban and rural areas from the pre-primary level to pre-university education.
ASAR implies the percentage of women attending educational institutions irrespective of the class or level they are studying in.
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are listed as having high ASARs.
The report went on to add that attendance covered both formal and non-formal education. “The non-formal education included ‘Non-formal Education Centre’ (NFEC), ‘Total Literacy Campaign’ (TLC), ‘Adult Education Centres’ (AEC) and other non-formal education,” the report added.
At the pre-primary level, besides Kerala, Punjab (57 per cent), Telangana (54 per cent), Tamil Nadu (54 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (53 per cent) and Delhi (50 per cent) were the next best performing states in the country.
Coming to the Pre-university level, Himachal Pradesh (94.4 per cent), Uttarakhand (92.7 per cent), Telangana (92.1 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (91.6 per cent) followed Kerala next on the list.
Nonetheless, Uttar Pradesh have a poor record as far as education is concerned as the state fares the worst record in India. The state with the most population is ranked the lowest for both age groups with 22.7 per cent and 64.5 per cent ASAR.
However, the Gross Enrollment Ratio of girls in the nation had, for the first time in history edged past boys across various levels.
Punjab Govt announces free education for girls from ‘Nursery to PHD’
In what could be termed as one of the biggest moves, Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges. Yes, you read it right! No kidding. From Nursery to PhD, education is free for the girls.
After making the announcement, free textbooks were provided to all students in government schools in their academic sessions.
Books are available online from where students can download it for free of cost.
Two years ago, Amarinder Singh said that Nursery and LKG classes will be reintroduced in government schools.
He also announced Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.
As per the census of India 2011, the literacy rate in Punjab is 75.84% which is comparatively better than the national average of 73.0%.
The total number of literates in Punjab is estimated at 1,87,07,137. The male literacy rate is at 80.44% whereas female literacy rate is 70.73%
Reacting to this decision, some are happy while some are not as they are questioning gender discrimination. “Excellent decision: free education for girls from Nursery to PhD. But why not give boys the same facility. Why is discrimination? Boys and girls are the same (Male + Fe = female).
Special facility is given to girls just because there is “fe” added to male. I think the Punjab Government must treat all the children in the same manner. Girls and Boys are equal citizens of Punjab. It’s not right to discriminate boys and favour only girls. This is just a sincere suggestion. There is time to rethink about it. Best wishes,” social media user said.