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Taliban Ease Stance on Education, Open New Institutions

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Taliban Take Girls Back to School

Afghan Islamists Ease Stance on Education, Open New Institutions

By MARGHERITA STANCATI and HABIB KHAN TOTAKHIL 
WSJ
Jan. 15, 2014

KABUL—When the Taliban banned girls from going to school in the 1990s, Mullah Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil served as the regime’s foreign minister.

Now, Mr. Muttawakil’s daughter attends a school in Kabul—one he set up. “She is in second grade and is one of the top students in her class,” he said proudly, adding that he often helps with homework.

She is one of roughly 250 girls enrolled at the school he opened three years ago along with other former senior Taliban officials who have adopted a more moderate stance in recent years.

…At the institute, which runs from primary school to high school, boys and girls are strictly divided…

For both boys and girls, religious subjects are a big part of the curriculum. During a recent visit to the school, first-graders stood up to recite the alphabet in Arabic, the language of the Quran. But they are also learning English, and attend regular computer classes.

Lessons are mostly in Pashto…

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