For some children school is not an option

October 16th, 2014

When I pass a school I think of a building as a place where loads of kids gather for five days a week to get an education.

A class at Sinazeze Upper Basic School, Zambia

A class at Sinazeze Upper Basic School, Zambia

Anyone that’s been through the education system has memories of their school years – some look back fondly, to others it was endured. But whatever our opinion I bet we all thought education was a basic right for everyone.

Looking back, if I’m honest I didn’t give it much thought because we are lucky to have an education system that is available to every child irrespective of gender, faith, or income. Naïve that I was, I thought this was the same for everyone and now realise how much I took for granted.

For millions of children around the world school is not an option. Many children are from poor families who face a daily struggle to feed their family, and their children have to work to contribute to the income; for others it could be society dictates by gender. Whatever the reason millions of children can only dream of an education so they can look forward to a better future, but for many it will remain a dream – or will it?

The remarkable courage of school girl Malala Yousafzai made the world sit up and listen when she spoke out on behalf of all those children without a voice. Her courage reminded us that while there will always been a degree of inequality – education should not be one of them. Her strength to overcome terrible injuries inflicted, did not diminish her voice. She has shown the world that in order for things to change you have to be prepared to stand up and speak out. For her campaigning on children’s education she has recently won the Nobel Peace prize, but for me she is an inspiration that has touched us all.

Maybe next time I pass a school I won’t just think of it just as a place where kids gather – will you?

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