Women’s Ed Advocate Shot by Taliban Heads Back to School

Malala Yousafzai, an education advocate for women in the Muslim world who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for her work, is now far enough along in her recovery to go back to school, The Daily Telegraph reports. Today was her first day of classes at the Edgbaston High School, a girl’s school in Birmingham. She remains in Britain while she recovers from the injuries of her shooting.

She has been discharged from the Birmingham hospital a few months, where she was flown after getting her initial round of treatment in her home country of Pakistan. Although her parents have said before that they hope to return to Pakistan and allow Malala to continue both her education and her work to further access to education for women, The Telegraph reports that she will probably seek permanent residence in Britain in the coming months.

She has enrolled in school in Year 9, and will do a full course of studies with the aim of selecting her GCSE subjects next year. In an interview, she said she was excited to finally resume her interrupted education and added that she hoped some day to allow all women in the world to do the same.

“I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much but I am looking forward to meeting my teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham.”

When she was shot on October 9, last year, the bullet entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, “grazing” her brain. It was later removed by surgeons in Pakistan before she was flown to the UK.

She was targeted by Taliban specifically for her views on education and she has made good progress in her recovery since coming to the UK. Her doctors have expressed optimism that she will recover completely down the road.

Although her future plans haven’t been revealed, based on the fact that her father has been appointed as the educational attache with the Pakistan consulate in Birmingham, that the family intends to seek residence in Britain and stay on even after Malala completes her rehabilitation.

With a pink floral rucksack slung over her shoulder, Malala was pictured smiling and walking with her father as she made her way to lessons. She was released from hospital on February 8 after medical teams at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said she was making a good recovery from her surgery.

Gordon Brown MP, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, showered the teenager with praise at the news of her return to school.

“This is a great day for Malala, for her family – and for the cause of education worldwide,” he said.

Along with his duties at the consulate, Malala’s father is also serving as an educational adviser to Brown.