Webinar on distance learning and the right to education in Afghanistan

This month’s guest speakers explored the potential of online education in upholding the right to education of Afghan girls and women

The latest webinar hosted by the Afghanistan Legal Research Network (ALRN) at the Max Planck Foundation featured a lively discussion between Murtaza Mohiqi and Dr Shakardokht Jafari as well as members of the audience on the opportunities which distance learning offers to students with limited to no access to in-person education. The debate highlighted the restrictions and limitations of students in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and the role that new technologies might play in rights fulfillment, especially where access to internet and to electricity compounds these challenges.

The debate yielded a shared view that distance learning is at present the only viable means to overcome existing barriers, but that its pursuit should be a temporary measure, limited to the current situation when regular school attendance seems out of reach for female students beyond the sixth grade. In particular, the speakers agreed that distance learning comes with its own limitations and cannot be viewed as a risk-free and longer-term substitute for the classroom.

These exchanges were broadened into a lively question-and-answer session with members of the audience, which gave the speakers the opportunity to share further insights grounded in their current research and professional practice.

The webinar was part of a series of the project ‘Civil Society and the Rule of Law in Afghanistan’ , supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.