PM unveils new aid for girls education to prevent pandemic ‘lost generation’

Thursday May 13th, 2021

The Prime Minister will take part in live classroom link-up with schoolchildren in Kenya today (13 May 2021) to urge world leaders to invest in education, supporting the UK’s ambition to get 40 million more girls into school in the next five years.

He will visit a school in the UK with Julia Gillard, former Australian PM and Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, and speak to President Uhuru Kenyatta at a school in Nairobi as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme.

It comes as the UK announces £55 million for a new programme to drive crucial research into education reforms, turbocharging efforts to get girls into school and learning. The What Works Hub for Global Education will advise governments across Africa and Asia on the most impactful and cost-effective ways to reform school systems and support female enrolment.

Improving girls’ access to education is a key part of the UK’s G7 Presidency and is at the heart of global efforts to build back better from the pandemic. Investing in education helps lift communities out of poverty and protects girls from early marriage and forced labour.

Today’s visit comes ahead of the joint UK-Kenya Global Education Summit in London in July, which aims to raise $5 billion over the next five years for the vital work of GPE.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented global learning crisis, with 1.6 billion children out of education around the world at the height of school closures. It has also compounded the obstacles to schooling that girls already face, including poverty, gender-based violence and child marriage.

The Foreign Secretary will also launch a Girls’ Education Action Plan today (13 May 2021) which sets out the steps needed to help meet the UK’s targets to get 40 million more girls into school and 20 million more girls reading by the age of 10 by 2026.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Supporting girls to get 12 years of quality education is one of the smartest investments we can make as the world recovers from Covid-19. Otherwise we risk creating a lost pandemic generation.

Across the world there is a vast untapped resource – girls whose education has been cut short or denied altogether, who could be leading efforts to pull their communities out of poverty.

I’m going to be working throughout the UK’s G7 presidency to ensure leaders invest in those girls and boost children’s life chances around the world.”

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