Afghan girl 'heartbroken' to be among thousands excluded from school by Taliban as boys return

Credit: AP

A pupil among the many thousands of Afghan girls excluded from secondary school has called the move "heartbreaking" and "stressful".

Despite the promise it made a month ago, the Taliban has not allowed girls in Afghanistan to return to secondary schools, citing unspecified safety concerns.

However, these unknown worries do not appear to be as issue for boys, with the girls' counter-parts returning to the classrooms over the weekend.

ITV News filmed outside one of the many closed secondary girls schools. Credit: ITV News

"It's heartbreaking that us girls aren't allowed to go to school anymore," a 14-year-old schoolgirl, who can't be named for fear of reprisal from the militants, told ITV News.

"Them saying we have to stay at home means they don't want us to be educated and be part of society, which is sad and stressful."

She is left trying to educate herself from home, while her brother, who is in the same grade, is learning in the classroom.

"I feel like us girls are understanding that we are treated differently," she said.

Protesters said women should be included in the government Credit: Wali Sabawoon/AP

In boys' classes, even women teachers aren't welcome. One male school pupil appealed to the Taliban to reverse this decision, saying that schools are struggling without enough teachers as women teachers are often not allowed to work or not being paid.

"Without them we can't continue our studies," he said.

In the face of local protests and international condemnation, Afghanistan's new government has promised teenage girls an education. Just what kind will be a defining issue for the Taliban.

The United Nations has already called on the Taliban to let girls go back to school and said not allowing them to return is a human rights violation.

Abdul Ahad, the Taliban's governor of Helmand Province, said: "I think that the educational system was set up to brainwash the students .

"Neither us nor our nation can accept an educational system which is set up by foreigners."