Facebook Photo Helps Send Woman to College

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. viral / ˈvaɪ rəl / (adj) – spreading fast and to many people, especially through the Internet

    I saw the viral photo after all my friends shared it on social media.

  2. snap / snæp / (v) – to take a picture of someone or something

    Test takers are not allowed to snap pictures of their exam sheets.

  3. make the rounds / meɪk ðə raʊnds / (idiom) – to spread or to be passed around

    The good news made the rounds on the Internet. By the end of the day, everyone knew it!

  4. pledge / plɛdʒ / (n) – a promise to donate or give money

    I made a pledge of $1,000 to the charity.

  5. activist / ˈæk tə vɪst / (n) – a person who supports a cause, usually related to politics or society

    The activist established an organization to help the poor get university education.


Read the text below.

An Afghan woman received help to pursue her university education after her photo went viral on Facebook.

A university teacher snapped the photo of Jahan Taab when she was taking a university entrance exam with her two-month-old child. The photo, which captured the woman sitting on the floor to calm her crying child, made the rounds on social media. It also received positive responses, including a pledge to fund Taab’s university education.

Taab scored 152 out of the possible 200 points in the exam, making her eligible to attend a university in Nili, Daykundi Province, and take up social science. However, Taab was worried that financial difficulties and the distance of the university to her home would prevent her from studying.

Luckily, Zahra Yagana, a women’s rights activist, decided to help after seeing Taab’s photo. Yagana not only helped Taab with university fees, but also with her rent in the city. Afghan Youth Association, a UK-based charity, is also raising funds to help Taab. The association thinks that Taab is a role model to other Afghan women who face similar challenges.

Taab is among millions of women in Afghanistan who can now go to school after the education ban on women was lifted back in 2011. The number continues to rise as the government launches several initiatives to improve women’s access to education in the country.

In 2016, women comprised 22.8% of Afghanistan’s total student population. The government aims to raise this figure to 25% by 2020.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think other governments should also encourage more women to pursue higher education? Why or why not?
• How do you think women can get better access to higher education?

Discussion B

• To what extent would you go to pursue your dreams? Discuss.
• How can people inspire others to pursue their dreams?