Taliban creates 100,000 extra positions for madrassas across Afghanistan

Taliban’s Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhunzada has recently approved 100,000 posts for madrassas across the country, amid a surge in the number of religious seminaries in recent years.

The news was announced by the Taliban’s Ministry of Education in a Pashto statement today, June 24, following the visit of the Taliban’s Minister of Education, Habibullah Agha, to Parun, the capital of the eastern Nuristan province, where the Minister told a group of officials, religious scholars, and tribal elders that he would remain steadfast in implementing educational activities in Nuristan.

“The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has allocated 100,000 posts for the development of madrassas across the country and Nuristan province has more posts than other provinces.” Agha was quoted saying in the statement.

The Minister particularly emphasized the “importance of learning modern and Islamic sciences” and urged the Nuristan residents to send their children to schools.

Last year, the Taliban’s Ministry of Education vowed to build large madrassas in the provincial centers which would accommodate 1,000 students in each religious seminary and establish three to ten madrassas in every district.

This recent announcement comes amid widespread concerns that the Taliban are closing down secular schools or turning them into religious seminaries that hinder students’ access to equal and quality education at a time when girls and barred from attending schools beyond sixth grade.

The Islamic boarding seminaries, madrassas, which mainly teach Islamic subjects have increased since the Taliban took over in August 2021, enabling them to grow in influence and resources across the country. The madrassa system has been kept alive largely through community and private funding and now administrative funds are also allocated by the Taliban to bolster them. Most of the Taliban leaders were educated in radical madrassas in neighboring Pakistan.