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Michelle Obama speaks to East End schoolgirls in Whitechapel

PUBLISHED: 11:34 12 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:34 12 October 2016

US First Lady Michelle Obama appears via a video link. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

US First Lady Michelle Obama appears via a video link. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

East End schoolgirls were given a rare treat yesterday when they took part in an online discussion with Michelle Obama.

Ayesha Begum (left), 17, asks US First Lady Michelle Obama a question. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA WireAyesha Begum (left), 17, asks US First Lady Michelle Obama a question. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Pupils from Mulberry School for Girls, in Commercial Road, Whitechapel, took part in the Skype conversation with the US First Lady to mark International Day of the Girl.

It is the second time students from Mulberry interacted with Mrs Obama after she came to the school last year to launch the Let Girls Learn initiative.

Mrs Obama used the talk, titled A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls’ Education, to highlight the importance of education for young women around the world.

“Education is a very personal thing for me, as I tell girls whenever I meet them,” said Mrs Obama, speaking from the Newseum in Washington DC.

Matthew Barzun, the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, joins pupils at the school. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA WireMatthew Barzun, the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, joins pupils at the school. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

“I wouldn’t be here sitting here, not just in this chair, but in the life that I have if it weren’t for my education.”

“Making sure that girls around the world who are just as bright, just as able as me, have the same opportunities to take their education seriously, to have access, has become a mission that I take very seriously.

“This is something that means a great deal. We can’t afford not to educate girls and give women the power and the access that they need so we’re going to keep working hard.”

Mrs Obama points to the fact that 62 million girls worldwide don’t have access to education as an example of the inequality they face and the work that needs to be done.

“I want kids here in the United States and in other parts of the world to understand that there are girls that are willing to give their life, they are literally dying trying to get the education that many of us take for granted.”

The First Lady added that she would continue campaigning for female education once her husband leaves the Presidential office in January.

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