Michelle Obama on Education

30 May

At the end of last week Michelle Obama, the wife of US President Barak Obama, re-visited pupils from a London (UK) comprehensive school.

The school – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School – is one of the 2% most deprived in the country, 55 different languages are spoken within its walls, and 92% of the pupils are black or from ethnic minority backgrounds… and yet the school has been classed as “outstanding” by the UK Education inspectors, Ofsted. Michelle Obama’s message to the pupils of this school was clear, inspiring, and universally applicable…

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Learn to use your voice now.”

Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States¹


Michelle Obama is a woman who seems exceptional in her education background and career successes. She attended Harvard Law School and is now the First Lady of America. However, she grew up in an underprivileged area in Chicago and often felt discouraged from applying to an elite university. Fortunately, she did not let her background dictate her aspirations…

“I realised that success is not about the background you are from, it is about the confidence that you have and the effort you are willing to invest.”

This is a message that should ring true throughout the whole of the world. Education is the key to betterment – both on an individual level and for wider society. The girls from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School have been inspired by Michelle’s recent talks in the UK and now feel that the sky is the limit in education. The aspirations in Africa should be no different – post-secondary education will unlock a better future. Iduka calls for more post-secondary education opportunities in Africa; Michelle Obama calls for self-belief and ambition among the world’s youths. Let us encourage the leaders of Africa to hear these cries for progress… the future is in education.


¹Image credit: Wikipedia. Joyce N. Boghosian, White House photographer.


2 Responses to “Michelle Obama on Education”

  1. Turyatunga Bob Maahe May 31, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    l wish l could meet Michelle Obama and shake her hands. Instead of the usual niceties, l would simply say that “join our programs and help us promote post-secondary education and let’s make sure all governments support and budget for vocational education as well.”

    l will one day meet her! I am working toward that goal.

  2. Gerald Chertavian August 5, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Great words of advice from Mrs. Obama. Job well done, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School!

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