(CNN) - In a stunning story of survival and recovery, the Pakistani teenager whom Taliban gunman shot in the head in October has been released from a hospital.
Malala Yousufzai left Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, on Friday. In the past two weeks, the girl famous for advocating that girls in Pakistan be educated - which stoked the ire of her attackers - proved her incredible strength by enduring two operations to repair her skull and restore her hearing.
The gunfire caused swelling in Malala's skull and a break in the delicate bones that help turn sound into sensory impulses to her brain.
"God has given me this new life," she recently said, speaking for the first time on camera since the shooting. "I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated."Though the gunshots to her neck and head made many doubt that she would walk again, Malala continued to improve over the past several months.
"I can walk a little bit and I'm feeling better," the 15-year-old said on February 6.
At that time, she said she hoped to be fully recovered in a month.
Her medical team decided she was well enough to be discharged Thursday. The teen will continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in Birmingham and will visit the hospital occasionally for outpatient appointments.
Malala has credited her survival to "the prayers of the people."
Her story captured worldwide attention, moving Pakistan to vow that it would more vigorously fight for girls' rights and against the Taliban. It also prompted global leaders to put pressure on the country to make good on those promises.
"Because of these prayers, God has given me this new life and I want to serve and I want every girl, every child to be educated," she said.
Tokyo (CNN) - On the surface, it resembles just about any other high school in Japan - or any high school in most places around the world.
Students sit quietly studying math, science and English; some struggle to stay focused, looking at the clock and waiting for the bell to ring. When the school day ends, some move out to the sports fields for rugby or soccer practice, while others study music in emptying hallways.
What makes this school different is the pictures of two men scattered throughout the building - portraits of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and previous leader Kim Jong Il.
The Tokyo Korean Middle and High School, which is currently home to 650 students, is one of 10 high schools in Japan with long standing ties to North Korea.
It's something the school's principal, Gil-ung Shin, is very open about.
"Yes, North Korea has given us financial support over the years, sending us money and textbooks," he says.
The school also organizes annual trips to Pyongyang, where students are given highly orchestrated tours of the reclusive North Korean capital.
But the students we spoke with laughed at suggestions from some quarters that they are being trained as spies.
"People think we're being brain-washed. We're not. We just want to study Korean culture and language," 17-year-old Kyong Rae Ha says.
In the midst of civil war, Syrians face political upheaval, starvation, bombings and violence – nearly 40,000 people were killed in the civil war last year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday. But one thing hasn't changed: a generation of children hoping to learn, to feel a sense of normalcy.
At one school in Damascus, 1,600 children come in two shifts. Educators say any child is welcome, regardless of political affiliation. Some students are new to the school, displaced from other areas. This school isn't entirely safe either, though. Within a few weeks late last year, 35 students and two teachers from the area were killed.
"We keep the school open and help with their fears," head teacher Abdul Kader Amouri told ITN's Alex Thomson. "We can't do as much as before, but the key thing is to try and deal with their anxiety."
By Alexis Lai, CNN
(CNN) - Jay Lin is the embodiment of the American dream - and what is increasingly a Chinese dream.
Originally from Wenzhou in eastern China, he moved to New York City as a teenager. After earning degrees from Ivy League universities - Cornell and Columbia - he secured a comfortable job in a bucolic town in Connecticut.
Now he is helping others in China follow his path, where the desire for elite U.S. education is alive and well.
In the last decade, mainland Chinese have reshaped the international student body at U.S. colleges and universities, notably at Ivy League institutions. In the 2009-2010 academic year, China surpassed traditional "study abroad" heavyweights like Canada, India and South Korea, to lead international enrollment across U.S. higher education, according to the Institute of International Education. The U.S.-based institute's most recent figures reveal that mainland Chinese students increased 23% to more than 723,000 in the 2010-11 academic year.FULL STORY
By Gordon Brown, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Gordon Brown served as Britain's prime minister between 2007 and 2010 after a decade as the country's finance minister, or chancellor of the Exchequer. In July this year he was appointed as a United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Pakistan has a new heroine and a new cause - a girl's right to education - and after Friday's announcements from the Pakistani government that they will adopt new measures to get every child into school by end 2015, that cause has a timetable and a deadline for delivery.
Everywhere you go in Pakistan you find people talking animatedly about the 15-year-old girl, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban last month.
A rickshaw touring the streets of Islamabad has a slogan posted on it: "Malala for education and peace." Go to the local girls' school and every girl seems to have written either a poem or a song, a letter or a card to Malala.
Listen to the politicians and every speech is laced with references to the courage of Malala. Meet civil society organizations and they will tell you that the audience for their educational demands has risen markedly over the last few weeks.
It seems that Malala's courage has awoken Pakistan's silent majority who are no longer prepared to tolerate the threats and intimidations of the Pakistan Taliban.
Can Pakistan convert its momentary desire to speak out in support of Malala into a long term commitment to getting its three million girls and five million children into school? Can the politicians, long-criticized for a failure to deliver, find the teachers, the classrooms and the reading materials to give millions of children a basic education?
By Gordon Brown, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Gordon Brown served as Britain's Prime Minister between 2007 and 2010 after a decade as the country's finance minister, or Chancellor of the Exchequer. In July this year he was appointed as a United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
(CNN) - News that a 14-year-old Pakistani girl was gunned down by the Taliban simply because she wanted to go to school has sparked a wave of protests and condemnation across the world.
As she fights for her life in hospital, Malala Yousafzai is being adopted as every child's sister and every parent's daughter.
Wearing "I am Malala" t-shirts, young people in Pakistan are not only challenging the Taliban's brutality and dogma, they're boldly affirming the right of every child to education.
The protests reveal a generation no longer willing to tolerate the gap between the promise of opportunity for all and the reality for millions of boys and girls shut out from even the most basic of primary schooling. Indeed, they are doing more to assert their right to education than the leaders who promised to deliver it.
If there is one idea that has been pre-eminent in the modern world, it is that every child should have the opportunity through schooling to rise as far as their talents can take them. For decades we have assumed the inevitability of the forward march of education, the inexorable year-on-year, continent-by-continent progress towards universal education.
But if there is one reality that exposes our failure to deliver, it is that there are 61 million young children like Malala who will not go to school today or any other day. Written off at five and six years old, they will never be able to bridge the gap between what they are and what they have in themselves to become.
By Allie Torgan, CNN
(CNN) - For many girls in Afghanistan, the simple act of walking to school can be a life-threatening journey.
"You close the door behind you, and you enter a war zone," said Nushin Arbabzadah, an American-based author and scholar who was raised in Afghanistan.
There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations, and the majority of those attacks were attributed to armed groups opposed to educating females.
But "the walk from home to school is - and has always been - the most dangerous part," Arbabzadah said. "You are told to stay covered, keep your head down and walk quickly ... and stare at your toes."
The life of a schoolgirl in Afghanistan is a far cry from reading, writing and arithmetic. Some girls have been maimed by acid attacks. Others have had their drinking water poisoned or been targeted by bombers who think females should be forbidden from school - as they were during the Taliban's rule.
"It is unfathomable that anyone would want to hurt them. But that is the reality," said Beth Murphy, a documentary filmmaker who recently traveled to Afghanistan to work on a feature film about girls' education.
Amid the violence, however, there is promise: In a country where just 6% of women 25 and older have received any formal education, millions of girls are at long last enrolling in school.
Children born in the United States to Mexican immigrants are returning to Mexico with their parents, but struggle with a different language, economy and education. They're young American citizens with big dreams, but some worry the dramatic lifestyle and school change might put them at a disadvantage when they return to the United States.
By Jiyeon Lee, CNN
Seoul (CNN) - It took two teenage suicide cases due to school bullying last year in South Korea for people to notice something was very wrong.
The students lived in different cities and went to different schools, but both jumped to their deaths after saying they could not take the pain of being bullied any longer.
Over the last few weeks, the country's media has been filled with reports about tragic cases of school bullying. This week, two more students from the same class reportedly took their own lives - one was the victim of bullying, the other a powerless friend who had stood by and watched the abuse.
Experts say the cases highlight how desperately many South Korean teenagers need a means to escape the bullying as well as a way to cope.
Park Han-wool, a 17-year-old high-school student, said he has been bullied for the past six years. He has been isolated from other classmates, beaten during school trips and locked up in the classroom.FULL STORY
By Peter Shadbolt, CNN
(CNN) - If you don't have the time, inclination and, more importantly, the money to go to university in Manila, you can still get a degree. It will cost you between $US10 and $US60, it will take about two hours to complete and it will be fake.
Welcome to "Recto University," the name Manila mockingly gives to the strip of document counterfeiters that openly ply their trade between Claro M. Recto and Rizal Avenues in the Philippines capital.
Located a stone's throw from Manila's university district and, somewhat ironically, Manila City Jail, the counterfeiters of Recto can run off a university testamur, any type of diploma, a job reference and, more worryingly, a pilot's license and a seaman's certificate in a matter of hours.
"Today business is not so good," says a hawker sitting beside a makeshift sign displaying fake diplomas, driver's licenses and job references that can be bought for as little as 500 pesos (US$11.50).
"If we do five documents a day, we're doing well," he says smiling broadly. "Sunday is our best day, because people start class or work the next day. Term time at the universities is much better for us than the semester break.FULL STORY