Following her arrival in Lahore a day earlier, Malala Yousafzai, world’s youngest Nobel laureate, called on Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi Wednesday to persuade him for banning corporal punishment in schools and madrassahs across the province.
Upon Malala’s request, the chief minister announced the initiation of legislation banning the act. He said that the corporal punishment of students — particularly female students — is absolutely unacceptable.
He added that the government would ensure implementation of the law banning the act by all means and assured having the law approved this month by the provincial assembly.
The development came after the girl’s education advocate called on CM Elahi and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Moonis Elahi at the former’s office.
During the meeting, her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, husband Asser Malik, Malala Fund’s Country Head Javed Ahmed and others including officials of the provincial education department were also present.
“I appreciate Chaudhry Parvez Elahi for education-friendly initiatives. He has done a great job in the education sector,” the 25-year-old advocate for education said wishing for CM Elahi to continue serving children’s education.
Malala expressed her wish to see every child, including in Punjab, enrolled in school. “[I] want to be the voice of Punjab’s female students; [I’m] trying to solve their problems,” she said.
Stressing the need to instil critical thinking among students, the Nobel laureate said: “It is important to develop critical thinking in students, along with religious and academic education. New ideas, innovation, and positive political thinking are keys to development for students.”
In the meeting, CM Elahi and Malala agreed to speed up the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programme in the province.
Malik, at the occasion, said that the Malala Fund’s vision for Pakistan is focused on improving access to education to empower and ensure more girls toward reaching their potential.
“We are working with the government to ensure that girls’ high schools have teachers for STEAM, along with a state-of-the-art environment,” the country director for Malala Fund said.
While appreciating the efforts of the Malala Fund, CM Elahi said: “The Malala Fund is striving to create a society where every girl can gain knowledge and become a future leader.”
He lauded the education advocate for spreading love and defeating hate through knowledge.
“Malala Yousafzai is a great example for women, not only in Pakistan but also in the world. She fought terrorism and extremism for education,” he said.
A day ago, Malala arrived in Pakistan with her father, husband and mother. On her current visit, she is scheduled to attend multiple seminars and sessions before departing from the country on December 16.
This is Malala’s second visit to the country this year. She earlier arrived to meet Pakistan’s flood victims, particularly children and young girls whose education was affected following damages caused by the climate catastrophe — devastating floods.