E2 Keynote: “An awakening by Ziauddin Yousafzai” – by Emma Hicks, MIEE

This post is from Emma Hicks, English and Drama teacher at Arnold Hill Academy in Nottingham. Emma is also one of out MIEEs, and recently attended the E² Global Educator Exchange in Remond, WA, a few weeks ago. Below are her thoughts after listening to the keynote address from Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala.



An awakening by Ziauddin Yousafzai

by Emma Hicks

So often it seems that we lose sight of the core purpose of education; the fundamental basic human right to learn. This morning Ziauddin Yousafzai spoke to us of the courage and bravery that happens all over the world as people fight for their right to an education. It was, without doubt, the awakening that so many of us needed to remind ourselves of what we can do to improve our world.

Yousafzai opened by warming the hearts of educators by joking that his daughter, Malala, had pitied his audience for having to listen to him for an entire hour. This light humour could not have been further from the truth. As Yousafzai described his experiences with Malala as she grew up in a society under the rein of the Taliban, not a single listener wasn’t captivated. He told us that “most of us want to see bravery in others, not in ourselves”, but Malala was different. Her bravery led her to fight and to be heard. Her bravery inspired the world to speak up. Her bravery has changed the futures of so many young girls.

The strong message of this keynote was that education transforms an individual, it is a mechanism for power and it is our responsibility to make sure that it is accessible to all. Yousafzai identified us as “changes makers” with the potential to transform our communities. He closed with a command that will drive every educator at E2 as they return to their schools: bring up an amazing generation that will make this world more peaceful.

Ziauddin Yousfzai

Responses from our MIEExperts:

“Very interesting and incredibly thought-provoking” - Matthew Davies

“Humbling and inspiring keynote by Ziauddin Yousafzai on the importance of bravery in educators as agents of change” - Anthony Lees

“Malala’s call to teachers to take action for the rest of the world’s children really struck a chord with the responsibility that we have to teach Global Citizenship. It inspired me to think along these lines for our Educators’ challenge.” - Marie Renton

“I’m completely moved by Ziauddin’s speech, what a privilege to listen to someone who speaks of bravery and courage with such passion and warmth” - Emma Hicks

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