If you don’t live in a cave you know what’s happening in Afghanistan right now. If you don’t know, you can find out here.
No matter what your political preferences are, or what do you believe in, I’m sure you agree that education is important. What is happening in Afghanistan right now will have tremendous negative consequences on the education of Afghan girls. Watch the Ted Talk. Discuss it with your students. You can also help here, or here.
This Ted Talk education ESL video lesson is based on a talk by Shabana Basij-Rasikh. She is an educator from Afghanistan, humanitarian, and women’s rights champion. She grew up under the rule of the Taliban, which banned education for women so she had to dress as a boy to attend a secret school.
This is her story.
Level: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate
Time: 45min.(video 10min.)
Skills: speaking, listening, reading
Topic: education, human rights
Taliban Take over Afghanistan | Ted Talk Education Lesson Plan | Dare to Educate Afghan Girls | Shabana Basij-Rasikh
Discuss the questions
1. Do you think education should be free? Why? Use arguments to justify your opinion.
2. What was your parents position on your education? How do you think it has influenced your life? What is your position on your education?
3. Can you imagine being denied higher education based on your gender or religion? How would it influence your life?
Write three reasons why education is important.
1 Read the sentences and try to work out the meaning of the underlined words/phrases.
1. I dressed as a boy to escort my older sister, who was no longer allowed to be outside alone, to a secret school.
2. A total maverick from a remote province of Afghanistan, he insisted that…
3. …had my family not been so committed to my education…
4. …the one exiled from his home for daring to educate his daughters,
5. And I see their parents and their fathers who, like my own, advocate for them despite and even in the face of daunting opposition.
6. …this is something that is often dismissed in the West…
7. …they’re often the initial and convincing negotiators of a bright future for their daughters…
8. I fear that these changes will not last much beyond the U.S. troops’ withdrawal.
2 Match the words/phrases (a-p) to their explanations(1-16).
a)escort(v.) 1)demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.
b)allow 2)without being influenced or prevented by
c)maverick 3)a person who helps other people to come to agreement
d)remote 4)difficult to deal with
e)insist 5)accompany (someone or something) somewhere
f)commit 6)the process or action of a military force moving out of an area
g)exile(v.) 7)let (someone) have or do something.
h)dare 8)of or at the beginning
i)advocate(v.) 9)able to make you believe that something is true or right
j)despite 10)to think or say that something is not important
k)daunting 11)to send someone away from their own country, village, etc
l)dismiss 12)far away, distant
m)initial 13)to promise or give your loyalty, time, or money to something
n)convincing 14)an unorthodox or independent-minded person
o)negotiator 15)have the courage to do something
p)withdrawal 16)publicly recommend or support
Watch the video and answer the questions.
1. Why do you think the Taliban made it illegal for girls to go to school?
2. Why was Shabana’s grandfather special?
3. What would have happened if the Taliban had found out that Shabana and her sister were going to school?
4. How many women in Shabana’s age have made it past high school?
5. What were Shabana’s parents prepared to do in order to pay for her school fees?
6. How many girls went to school in Afganistan under the Taliban, and how many are in school now?
7. What is SOLA?
Discuss the questions
1. What would you change about your school if you could?
2. Some people say that schools are useless for life. Do you agree?
3. What do you think are the most important life skills?
4. Do you need education if you want to be successful?
5. What are the most useful things that you learned at school?
6. What are the most useless things that you learned at school?
7. Besides school, where and how can you learn something new?
8. What talent or skill would you like to improve?