Every child should be educated, says Malala

Survivor: Malala Yousafzai leaves hospital after 12 weeks battling death. © Getty Images

Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot in the head on a Pakistani school bus in 2012 after she defended girls’ education. Somehow she survived. Now she has promised to continue her struggle.

What’s happening

On October 9th 2012, gunmen boarded a bus with Malala on it. They shot her three times; one bullet went through her brain. Amazingly, she survived and left hospital four months later. She now says she wants to use her ‘second life’ for a good cause. ‘I want every girl, every child to be educated.’

Find out more

Malala was shot by the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group which wants to ban female education. She was at school in the Swat district of Pakistan, where the Taliban are strong. They tried to kill her because she spoke out against them, called for girls to be educated and wrote a blog for the BBC.

Before the attack, Malala said she was ‘very afraid of the Taliban. He will kill us. He will throw acid in our face. He can do anything.’

After she was shot, doctors thought she only had a ‘slim’ chance of surviving. But she was flown to Britain for treatment on October 15th and soon awoke from her coma. She left hospital on January 3rd. She has now set up an international charity called the Malala Fund, which aims to promote education for all.

Some say…

When we compare ourselves to Malala, we should be ashamed. She has been damaged psychologically and physically. Her scars may never heal and her attackers swear they will strike again. But she continues to campaign for education and the rights of girls. She has much more courage than most of us could even consider having.

Others think…

Malala is very brave, but she would probably rather be an ordinary schoolgirl with ordinary problems. Our petty complaints are a sign that we are lucky to be so free. We should realise how precious this freedom is and fight for a world in which nobody fears that they will be killed for saying what they think.

You Decide

  1. Do we take our education for granted?

Activities

  1. Write a letter to Malala, explaining how her story has affected you.

Some People Say...

“My purpose is to serve humanity.”

Malala Yousafzai

What do you think?

Word Watch

Islamic fundamentalist
The Taliban wants to force people to practice its extreme version of Islam, which is very strict and includes rules covering all areas of people’s lives.
Coma
When somebody has a severe injury or illness, it may cause them to go deeply unconscious for a long period of time.
Psychologically
In the mind.
Campaign
An organised attempt and plan of action to achieve a particular goal.

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