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A suicide bomber detonated explosives inside Kabul’s prestigious Lycée Istiqlal injuring at least six people.The lycée, in the centre of Kabul and near the presidential palace and the foreign afffairs ministry, also houses a French cultural centre and has reputation for having tight security. (20141211)
The Lycée Esteqlal Esteqlal High School is a Franco-Afghan school in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is the second oldest school (after Habibia High School) in Kabul, and was recognized as one of the prestigious schools in the country.
Lycée Esteqlal is a public school, administered by the Afghan Ministry of Education, and is currently under the contract of AEFE, an educational agency of the French Foreign Ministry. The French Cultural Center (CCF) is also located inside the Lycée Esteqlal compound.
Created under the impulse of King Amanullah in 1922 as Amaniya School, it was renamed in 1931 to Lycée Esteqlal. In 1968, French Prime Minister Georges Pompidou laid the first brick of modern buildings, and the new site was inaugurated in 1974. The curriculum was entirely in the French language until 1985 when diplomatic relations between France and Afghanistan were suspended under the communist regime. Since 2002, only a few subjects, such as French language, mathematics and physics, are taught in French, and the rest in Dari.
Until 1985, Lycée Esteqlal did not only receive Afghan students, but also several French nationals who were related to the French Embassy's diplomatic staff. Lycée Esteqlal along with Lycée Malalaï, which is the other Franco-Afghan school for girls in Kabul, were rebuilt and reopened at the beginning of 2003, and currently they are under the contract of Agence pour l'enseignement français à l'étranger.
King Amanullah, who was progressive and modern-minded, also oversaw the opening of the first girls school, Masturat, in 1921. Masturat was closed between 1928 and 1932, then reopened in 1932 through the efforts of the new King Nadir Shah and became a girls secondary school in 1939, led by a French teacher. Seven hours a week of French was taught from the primary year upwards. In 1942, the school moved to a new building and took the name of Lycée Malalai, from the name of a famous Afghan woman who fought in the resistance against the invading English in 1880 during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.