On Friday July 12 Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism.

We should not forget that she just turned 16 on that day and that she’s the same age as most Year 1 IB-DP students.

How many of us could stand tall and give such an inspiring speech to deserve so long a standing ovation?

I invite you to follow the video of her full speech here – http://webtv.un.org/watch/malala-yousafzai-un-youth-assembly/2542094251001/  And then to also read the UN news clip here –  http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45395&Cr=education&Cr1=#.UeEnpRaBOgE  Finally, you can re-read and reflect on the full text of her speech (attached below).

Many of us are starting a new school year in a few weeks. Whilst we are full of hope and optimism with that sense of ‘newness’ and about we plan to do, to study, and to achieve in our CAS Diploma programs this year, we might humbly reflect on Malala’s story and her invitation – “let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”

Malala’s UN speech