Malala Yousafzai’s Fight Continues

Nicholas Kristoff in The New York Times:

MalalaWHEN the deputy head mistress pulled Malala Yousafzai out of high school chemistry class one morning a year ago, Malala nervously searched her mind for recent offenses. “You usually get a bit scared if your head teacher comes, because you think you are being caught doing something,” Malala recalled. “But she told me: ‘I need to tell you something. You have won the Nobel Peace Prize.’ ” After a brief celebration, Malala returned to class for the rest of the school day; as the world’s news organizations clamored for interviews, she wrestled with physics. She’s a champion of girls’ education worldwide, she explains, and that must include her own. Malala, now a high school junior, was in New York this past week to address the United Nations, attend the premiere of a full-length documentary movie about her life and hound world leaders to pay attention to girls’ education.

…Malala is determined not to be used as window dressing by world leaders, and her advice to presidents and prime ministers is to focus not on elementary school or middle school but on 12 full years of education. “Your dreams were too small,” she tells U.N. members. “Your achievements are too small. Now it is time that you dream bigger.” She scolded Nigeria’s president at the time for not helping girls abducted by Boko Haram. She told President Obama at the White House that drones were counterproductive and that he should invest in education. Just eight days of global military spending, she notes, would pay to get all remaining kids in school worldwide. “No world leader would want nine years of education for their children,” she told me. “Every world leader wants quality education for their children. They need to think of the rest of the world’s children as their own children.”

More here.