African View on Malala and Education

Malala Ysouafzai is a fifteen year old education rights activist from Islamabad, Pakistan who was recently shot in the head by Taliban soldiers for going to school. Fortunately the bullet did not kill her, but it did cause considerable damage. She may even have to get reconstruction surgery on her jawline down the long road of her recovery. The Taliban have even went as far as threatening any journalists in Pakistan who try to report on it. Many of the delegates at this years One Young World 2012 Summit have made comments about Malala, hoping for her to have a speedy recovery. Delegates have also been celebrating Malala’s bravery for doing what she did at such a young age.

I have taken it upon myself  to ask some of the delegates how they feel about the young girl and her cause, Kiziah from Kenya says the Taliban are blind, because they are being used by a power who is scared to be overthrown by the education of their own people. Many of the delegates sympathize with her and continously say how brave she is for fighting for what she believes in. A delegate from Zimbabwe said that the incident takes her to the old days of her country when families couldn’t afford to send all of their children to school, so they would decide to send only their male children. She also says that the incident makes her sad, but  that Malala is one of the brave willing to take a loss for what they believe in.

Malala’s fight for education in Pakistan has inspired other delegates to also fight for education in their countries. Many of the delegates and speakers represent organizations that deal with getting education to all of the low income cities and impoverished countries  around the world. One speaker named Catherine Uwanda,  spoke about how there is only one public library in her home country of Rwanda. She runs a program called Ibaba which receives atleast fifteen children a day. She also goes on to say that her program gives kids a way to escape poverty.


I began asking the delegates how they felt about education in their own countries. The same delegate from Kenya went on to talk about the education in his home country as the best in East Africa. Kenya has a program called free education, Kiziah went on to say it is an awkward program that forces children through school. In contradiction to that, he said 7 out of 10 persons who enroll for primary school, will make it all the way through. Due to his dislike of free education, he has developed a program within his own SPAC- Kenya organization called the Black Wall program. He feels that the children aren’t learning enough in school due to lack of supplies, so he raises money to create black walls that can be written on with chalk for the students in trheir classrooms.

So, while Malala’s story has spotlighted the problems of the education system, many delegates are working in their own ways to address this problem in their countries. Many of them have created charities that work to  educate kids who either can’t afford it or who are not permitted to go. Malala’s story has touched the hearts of many of the delegates in different ways, inspriring them to begin their own journeys toward educational fairness in their home countries.

Dreya Green

Grade 12

Mckeesport Area High School





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