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Malala Yousafzai ‘inspired’ by Jordanian passion for education

By Muath Freij - Feb 18,2014 - Last updated at Feb 18,2014

AMMAN — The passion of Jordanians towards education inspires Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who has said that the teaching process in Jordan is based on collaboration between teachers and students.

“What I noticed is that the teacher is not a dictator who only gives details to his students. The process is based on cooperation between students and their educators,” Yousafzai said at a discussion with students of the Jubilee School in Amman on Monday.

The 16-year-old education activist, who survived an assassination attempt in 2012 while she was on her way to school, said she was “happy” to learn that around 98 per cent of children in Jordan go to school.

“When I look to your passion to education, it inspires me and inspires all children all over the world,” she told students and the teaching staff at the Jubilee School.

The activist visited the school to engage in a discussion with students as part of the school’s comprehensive Leadership Programme, according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times.

Each year, the school hosts a number of global and local leaders to allow students to benefit from their unique experiences, the statement said.

Despite Yousafzai’s young age, she is an international figure who has inspired millions and heavily impacted global policy making related to human rights and girls’ right to safety and education, the statement added.

Yousafzai also shared her story with the students.

“Having a gun would mean that you are scared. In my opinion, pens and books are more powerful than guns,” she said, stressing that people should believe in their abilities.

“Trust yourself and believe in yourself because you do not know what you will be in the future. You can be a great footballer or a great movie star or a teacher or a doctor; just trust yourself,” Yousafzai added.

“Try to understand your skills because you do not have to be a doctor. Do what you want and contribute to your society.”

The Pakistani activist thanked the Jordanian government for being committed to ensuring the education of all children.

She also commended Jordan’s efforts towards Syrian refugees.

“When I saw Syrian refugees in Jordan, I felt that Jordan is a symbol of hospitality. It shows a message to the whole world that human beings should love each other and help each other, and I think that everyone should learn from you.”

Students interviewed by The Jordan Times expressed their enthusiasm over meeting Yousafzai.

Maria Rusan, a 16-year-old student, said she did not know about the young activist’s story before she met her at the school.

“Her story is really interesting and I am going to read more about her experience. Her story inspired me a lot,” she added.

Rand Thunibat, 16, felt proud that Yousafzai was impressed by Jordanians’ passion towards education.

“We have to thank our government for its support to education. Now, there are a great number of schools in the Kingdom,” she added.

Rusan stressed that there is no difference in education between east and west Amman.

“Education does not depend on multimedia tools; it depends on students’ enthusiasm towards education,” she added.

Meanwhile, on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Noor, chairperson of the King Hussein Foundation (KHF) and King Hussein Foundation International, KHF board member Adnan Badran announced on Monday the selection of Malala as the winner of the King Hussein Leadership Prize 2012, according to the statement.

The King Hussein Leadership Prize is an international award presented to individuals, institutions and groups who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in promoting sustainable development, human rights, equity and peace.

The prize’s nominating committee chose Yousafzai for her consistent courage in challenging ignorance, injustice and the oppression of women, Badran said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

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