Last week saw education and girls’ rights campaigner Malala Yousafazai earn a place at the prestigious Oxford University in the UK. Having overcome a bullet wound to the head for her beliefs in education for all, Malala reminds us of why it is so important to fight for education and every individual’s right to it.
The importance of education in developing countries cannot be overstated. Education can be the catalyst needed to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. Knowledge gives children the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education, which in turn will help generations to come.
Education also makes a significant difference for adults, particularly when it applies to day-to-day life, including nutrition, healthcare and gender equity. When adults learn, they become role models to their children, who also wish to learn.
Even for those better off in life, science argues that life-long learning or education in the form of general reading is good for the soul. No matter your background, continuing education reduces the rate of cognitive decline and keeps one mentally active. So, when we see women and advocates like Malala fighting for education, we should applaud them given its benefits for every man, woman and child in each and every society.