(BIRMINGHAM, England) — Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls, finally got back to her own studies after spending months in recovery. Tuesday was Malala’s first day at Britain’s Edgbaston High School, five months after the shooting that shattered her skull and damaged her inner ear.
Edgbaston Headmistress Ruth Weeks said the school is a safe haven for Malala, 15.
“We have very nice girls, but they are very normal girls. I think that Malala needs that stability. She herself wants to be a normal teenage girl,” she said. “Talking to her, that’s something that she’s very much missed during her time in hospital, contact with her peer group.”
Malala, who will attend school in England after undergoing months of surgeries and rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, said she was ready to return to her studies, calling it the most important day of her life.
“I already have my books, my bag and I [will] learn. I will talk to my friends, I will talk to my teacher, and I think there’s no important day than this day,” she said Tuesday. “I think it is the happiest moment that I’m going back to my school.”
Even before the assassination attempt, Malala was known as an impassioned advocate for education, despite reported death threats. She was just 12 when the Taliban shut down her school in Pakistan.
On Tuesday, Malala said she still has much to learn, but won’t stop fighting to bring education to girls.
“I want to learn how to change, how to bring change to this world and how should I work for the happiness and for the education of the girls,” she said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Tim Hume and Vasco Cotovio, CNN
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN
James Griffiths, CNN