Photo: @afmohe

Taliban Take Master-Level Qualifying Exams from Madrasa Graduates     

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – The Taliban says its Ministry of Higher Education conducted a qualifying exam for 51,000 graduates of religious schools. Those who pass the test, the regime says, will be awarded a Master’s level equivalent degree.

The Taliban’s ministry reported the news in a post on X. Neda Mohammad Nadim, the group’s acting Minister of Higher Education, supervised the process in Kandahar today, March 8.

The Taliban’s acting Minister of Higher Education had previously expressed opposition to members of the group taking the exam to certify their religious sciences proficiency.

On December 5, 2022, Nadim said that a Taliban member’s merit is determined by the number of mines he has detonated, implying that any educational credentials would come secondary if needed at all.

Nadim had at the time criticized the exam for religious scholars, deeming it undignified, and argued that only renowned scholars should undergo document examination.

Those who have served as provincial governors or commanders for 20 years, Nadim contended, should be exempt from exams.       

“He has struggled for 20 years, and now you’re telling him to take an exam. He doesn’t remember all the issues. His merit is based on how many mines he has detonated – the more, the more outstanding.”

Religious schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan have for long been a fertile recruitment for the Taliban. The extremist ideologies propagated as these Madrasas have helped the Taliban’s task of brainwashing teenagers for their cause easier.

Now at the helm of power in Afghanistan, the group tries to expand on these religious schools, ideally as a replacement for the secular education system that prepares the country’s incredibly young population for a fast-pacing job market.