Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children did not have any access to school. (Photo: medcom.id)
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children did not have any access to school. (Photo: medcom.id)

UK Launches New Partnership to Educate Girls in Developing Countries

English children covid-19 pandemic education
Wahyu Dwi Anggoro • 08 March 2022 11:55
London: United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson is launching a new £20 million business partnership as the UK continues to support global efforts to improve girls’ access to education in developing countries.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children did not have any access to school - and girls from disadvantaged families are particularly vulnerable to missing out on education, whether through poverty or prejudice. 
The pandemic has created even more barriers to education, with a peak of 1.6 billion children around the world having faced school closures.

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In the UK’s first education partnership of its kind, the UK government is joining forces with the private sector to boost girls’ access to education in developing countries. 
Partners include Unilever, Pearson, PwC, Microsoft, Accenture, Standard Chartered, United Bank for Africa, Coursera, Vodafone, BP and Cognizant. The UK Government will be working in partnership with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (GenU) to help deliver the programme, with key partners funding GenU being Accenture, Standard Chartered, Unilever, Microsoft, and United Bank for Africa.

"The United Kingdom has long been a proud and mighty champion of this fundamental cause and today we take one leap further through our first Global Partnership of its kind - opening the opportunity for one million girls across the developing world to have access to high quality skills training," Prime Minister Johnson said in a media release on Tuesday.
"Ensuring every girl and young woman across the globe receives 12 years of quality education is the greatest tool in our armoury to end the world’s great injustices. Delivering on this mission will be one of the best defences against ignorance, ensure the greatest protection from prejudice and put a rocket booster behind our hopes and dreams for global development in the years to come," he added.
Businesses, charities, schools and colleges will shortly be able to bid for funds from the programme. The partnership wants to support projects that will improve access to education for girls, with a focus on providing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills needed to find work in key sectors such as technology and manufacturing. This could include funding new skills training programmes, improving teaching or redesigning training to make it more relevant to business needs. Initially bids will be encouraged for projects in Nigeria and Bangladesh, two countries where significant barriers to girls’ education remain.
Funding from the programme will also help expand GenU’s `Passport to Earning’ (P2E) platform. This digital skills platform will provide girls with free, certified education and skills training which they can then use to support future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. UNICEF’s precursor to P2E was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021.
Some of the businesses involved will be contributing a range of resources including books, computers and other technology, mentors, advice and access to their networks, skills and training programmes. The private sector involvement will help ensure that education and learning opportunities provide girls with the skills for the future that employers need.


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