Bill Gates’ first business failed, Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 years old, Richard Branson has Dyslexia, and Stephen Kings first novel was rejected 30 times and believe it or not Simon Cowell had a failed record company! Everyone faces challenging times in their lives. This article looks at how The Power Of Education and equality.
The world around us can often seem chaotic, especially with continuing inequality and injustice in many areas. However, you need to keep in mind the power of education and how it can change lives. Below are two examples of people who believed so much in the power of education that they risked their own lives to fight for it.
“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”
-Nelson Mandela said during an address at the Planetarium
Meredith was a young, black man who fought to become the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi in 1962.
Meredith applied to the university to study political science and was initially accepted. When his race was discovered, he was denied entry. Meredith went on to pursue his case through a US appeals court. Subsequently, it was ruled that Meredith had the right to be admitted to the university. The Democratic Governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, tried to block this action. US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy then contacted Governor Barnett to discuss the situation. Barnett finally relented.
On the day of Meredith’s registration at the University of Mississippi, 500 US Marshals were ordered to accompany Meredith. Following Meredith’s successful case, the university started to admit other black students. Meredith wrote in his application that he wanted admission for his country, race, family, and himself. He said “Nobody handpicked me…I believed, and believe now, that I have a Divine Responsibility… I am familiar with the probable difficulties involved in such a move as I am undertaking and I am fully prepared to pursue it all the way to a degree from the University of Mississippi.”
Yousafzai is an activist from Pakistan who is an advocate for educational equality. Using a pseudonym, 12-year-old Yousafzai wrote a blog for the BBC in 2009 that chronicled her experience of living under Taliban occupation. Yousafzai spoke about her wish for girls in the country to have equal access to education. The following summer, an American journalist travelled to Pakistan to make a documentary about her life. As a result of her advocacy work, South African activist Desmond Tutu nominated Yousafzai for the International Children’s Peace Prize.
On the 9th October 2012, when Yousafzai was just 15, she was shot by a gunman on a school bus. Yousafzai received critical injuries and was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for treatment. She slowly recovered.
The assassination attempt started a national and international expression of support for Yousafzai. This included protests in cities across Pakistan. Following the attack, 2 million people signed a petition demanding free and compulsory education for all children. This resulted in the passage of Pakistan’s Right to Education Act. On the 10th October 2014, Yousafzai was named as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. This was due to her continued work to secure the right of all children to access education.
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