Reflections on Education
This International Women’s Day Ayesha Tammy Haq talks about the power of education…
Education is something many of us take for granted. I recall the times when we would plot to get out of going to school. Invent stomachaches and sore throats to stay home and miss tests. I finished school, went to university, returned armed with multiple degrees ready to change the world. And the world needed and, indeed, still needs changing. Having trained, and worked, as a lawyer I feel equipped to do pretty much anything. In fact I have done pretty much everything I have put my mind to doing. A practicing lawyer, a law lecturer, a columnist, a talk show host and so on. And through this journey I have met so many incredible people. There are so many stories one can share but I would like to share two with all of you.
In 2005 a massive earthquake devastated Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. Thousands of schools collapsed killing tens of thousands of children. A few months later make shift schools were up and running and one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen has to be excitement in the thousands of children, in particular girls, at being able to go back to school. Despite the horror of the earthquake and the personal tragedies they suffered they all had dreams and they knew that they needed an education to pursue those dreams.
In 2010, a group of young people organized a retreat in Islamabad for a group of 22 young girls from Swat. The group included Malala Yousufzai. Their stories were heartbreaking but their resolve was incredible. They made use of every minute of their time and didn’t just take – meeting and talking to them was not just humbling it was an education.
We are fortunate to have the tools to do much. It may sound like a cliché but in a competitive world it is only education that gives one that big advantage.