British girls do not value their education highly enough, the Birmingham teenager who survived a Taliban gun attack has claimed.
Malala Yousafzai – tipped to become the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday – said UK teenagers needed to appreciate how lucky they were.
Asked whether she thought British girls took their education for granted, the Pakistan-born 16-year-old said: “Yes, I believe that, and I want to tell the students of UK to think that it is very precious, it’s very prestigious, to go to school.
“Reading a book, having a pen in our hands, studying, sitting in a classroom is something very special for us.”
In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama, Malala – who now attends Edgbaston High School for Girls after being shot in her homeland on October 9 last year – also revealed she missed being a normal teenager after becoming an internationally-known figure.
“Here they consider me as a good girl, the girl who stood up for children’s rights and the girl who was shot by the Taliban,” she said. “They never look at me as Malala, as a normal girl. In Pakistan I was just Malala, simply Malala.”
The teenager was flown to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after being shot by the Taliban. She said she had no memory of the gun attack but recalled waking up in a foreign land after being assessed by two Birmingham-based doctors.
“I could not realise which country it is but I could see the people were speaking English,” Malala recalled.
“If I win Nobel Peace Prize, it would be a great opportunity for me, but if I don’t get it, it’s not important because my goal is to get peace and my goal is to see education of every child.”
- Malala: Shot for Going to School is on BBC1 at 8.30pm tonight.