“I remember when it was announced on the radio that girls would not go to school.”
These words were spoken yesterday by Mariam Khalique, who taught Malala Yousafzai. But despite these threats, Ms. Khalique described, many girls went to school anyway, supported by their teachers, who told them to leave their uniforms at home and hide their school bags under their shawls.
“We saw the freedom that education gave us and it made us stronger. That is why they wanted to take it away.”
Ms. Khalique spoke yesterday at UNESCO, at the launch of “Education transforms lives,” a new analysis by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report confirming that progress in education is pivotal to poverty eradication, health, environmental sustainability, governance and women’s empowerment.
As for Malala herself, who was shot in the head by the Taliban less than a year ago, she has received numerous international awards and nominations, including, most recently, the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience. She also returned to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was rehabilitated after the shooting, to open the £188m Library of Birmingham.