In the 11 years that I lived in Tanzania with my family I saw first-hand the poverty that so many people in developing countries face and conversely the economic and social opportunities that a good education can bring. Unless we have first-class education systems throughout the world, people will not achieve the jobs, livelihoods and other things that they have the potential to achieve, and that are absolutely vital for development.
The UK continues to take a lead in supporting educational opportunities in developing countries. Between 2015 and 2017 the UK Government supported over 8 million children in their schooling, yet we are still facing a learning crisis worldwide. Around 387 million children are expected to finish primary school without learning basic numeracy and literacy.
The Government takes this issue seriously and believes that every child has a right to a good education. That is why, together with France, the UK has designated 2018 as the Global Year of Learning. We are also boosting our contribution to the Global Partnership for Education to £75 million per year for the next three years. This funding will provide quality education to 880,000 children each year.
DFID Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt MP has also recently announced the UK’s new policy, which sets out three priority areas for action in education:
- Supporting efforts to drive up the quality of teaching in developing countries
- Supporting education systems to stand on their own two feet, using resources effectively to ensure children learn.
- Prioritising children with disabilities, children affected by crises, and hard-to-reach girls.
I welcome these priorities. Ultimately education is something which governments need to provide for their children without reliance on assistance. However many governments need support to reach that goal and UK and our citizens are doing that.