KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have decided against reopening schools to girls above the sixth grade, reneging on a promise and opting to appease their hard-line base, at the expense of further alienating the international community.
The surprise decision is bound to disrupt Taliban efforts to win recognition from potential donors abroad at a time when Afghanistan is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Girls have been banned from attending school above the sixth grade since the Taliban came into power in August, the Associated Press reported.
According to NPR, one of the reasons for the erupt reversal was because officials said they needed more time to decide on a school uniform for them.
U.S. Special Representative Thomas West tweeted his "shock and deep disappointment" about the decision, calling it "a betrayal of public commitments to the Afghan people and the international community."
West said the Taliban had made it clear that all Afghans have a right to education and urged them "to live up to their commitments to their people."