First, all of Tracy Lally’s sixth-graders stand up. Then she tells the boys to sit. The girls count off in threes, and she tells all the “ones” to sit. “Sorry,” she says to the girls left standing, “You don’t get an education.”
The excluded girls feel appalled by the unfairness of the situation, pressing their teacher about why those sitting get an opportunity denied to them.
It’s a dramatic introduction to the fact that in Pakistan – where Malala Yousafzai has become famous for persisting in her activism after being shot in the head by Taliban militiamen – only a third of girls have access to primary school.
Malala’s story is a springboard for discussions about the importance of women’s education, equality, and “how individuals, even at 12, can be activists,” says Ms. Lally, who teaches at Quest Elementary in Melbourne, Fla.
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