By Michael Olugbode
The UK has launched the Girls’ Education Action Plan, which sets out the steps the UK will take globally to get 40 million more girls into school and 20 million more girls reading by the age of 10 by 2026.
According to a statement issued by the Senior Communications and Public Diplomacy Officer, British High Commission, Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, the Girls’ Education Action plan is a five-year global education plan to ensure that every girl goes to school, stays safe and learns.
The statement revealed that improving girls’ access to education is an important part of the UK’s G7 Presidency and is at the heart of global efforts to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that UK believes that investing in education will help lift communities out of poverty and protect girls from early marriage and forced labour, in countries such as Nigeria.
The statement said: “Alongside the launch of the action plan, the UK has announced a new £55 million programme called The What Works Hub for Global Education that will drive crucial research into education reforms, turbo-charging efforts to get girls into school and learning across the world.
“Through this programme, the UK will be well placed to offer advice to governments across Africa and Asia on the most impactful and cost-effective ways to reform school systems and support female enrolment.”
The statement quoted the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab to have said: “To help reach our education goal we’re announcing £55m for the new What Works Hub for Global Education. The funding will help schools target teaching to the right level of pupil understanding, explain the benefits to parents of sending their daughters to school, and measure the effectiveness of school programmes and reforms aimed at keeping girls in the classroom.”
He said the launched report and the new programme demonstrate how committed the UK is to supporting efforts to increase opportunities that ensure every girl goes to school, stays safe and learns. He added that the UK has also already supported the agenda extensively in Nigeria, noting that the UK has been working in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa, UNICEF and the British Council to ensure that schools and teachers in the north east of Nigeria find ways to address some of the learning barriers that children face in achieving literacy and numeracy proficiency.
Reiterating the UK’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in its efforts to deliver quality education, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said: “Education is a right and a key priority for the UK. Not only a right, education is also fundamental to lasting poverty reduction, and to building prosperous, resilient economies and peaceful, stable societies.”
During her visit to Nigeria in April, Helen Grant, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education and Trade Envoy to Nigeria said: “We are facing a learning crisis. COVID-19 has made girls’ education an even more urgent priority. The UK will continue to work with the government of Nigeria and global partners to ensure all girls get 12 years of quality education.”