What Does a Taliban School Curriculum Look Like?

Op-Ed by CW4WAfghan Executive Director, Dr. Lauryn Oates

Published in The Diplomat, December 20, 2022

What Does a Taliban School Curriculum Look Like?

The U.S. decision to leave Afghanistan in the way that it did last year has had terrible consequences. The most consequential of all may prove to be the Taliban’s overhaul of Afghanistan’s public education system.

The Afghan newspaper Hasht-e-Subh obtained a copy of the Taliban’s proposed modification of the country’s school curricula. The Dari translation begins: “the current curriculum was made under the Kabul puppet administration, and funded by Jewish and non-religious countries,” which sets up both the document’s tone – one fueled by conspiracy, paranoia, and defensiveness and void of any pedagogical principles – and the proposed gutting of the curriculum that follows.

Hasht-e-Subh’s December 17 story provides a detailed summary of the document, which proposes removing entire subjects from the curriculum, and much more. Textbooks will be stripped of all images of living things; of particular concern are depictions of little girls and people doing sports, as well as anatomy images in biology textbooks. Also prohibited will be any mention of democracy and human rights in a positive light; the encouragement of peace, women’s rights and education; the United Nations (an “evil organization” according to the report); mention of music, television, parties, and celebrations including birthdays; non-Muslim figures such as scientists or inventors (Thomas Edison is highlighted as an example); mention of mines and their dangers (because of their association to the Taliban); radio (“colonial media”); population management; and mention of elections.

Read the full article here.

Read the article in Farsi here.