Being literate gives kids more options and a leg up in life, whether at school, in the workplace, or anywhere else. Sadly, the rights of six out of ten children worldwide are not being met. This problem is exacerbated in low and middle-income countries; in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, nearly 90% of ten-year-olds do not have this foundational reading skill.
Even before the pandemic, there were already a staggering 244 million young people who were not in school. A higher percentage of girls and children with disabilities are impacted. The work being done by the UK to promote girls’ education is all the more crucial in the wake of the effects of COVID-19 and the closure of schools. A child’s bright future, which they are entitled to, can be taken away by neglecting their education. A tremendous amount of time, effort, and potential are being thrown away.
It is unacceptable to put schooling last on any list. Given its potential to alleviate widespread problems and advance local communities, it deserves top billing. Because of this, the G7 leaders endorsed two new global targets for low and lower-middle-income countries while the UK was in the presidency: getting 40 million more girls into school and 20 million more girls reading by age ten.
We’ve put out a call to the international community for support in reaching these goals, which we hope to accomplish by 2026 and which will have a profound impact on people’s lives everywhere. Meanwhile, we will continue to back the World Bank’s work to alleviate learning poverty and help countries fulfil their lofty pledges as they strive to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education. If we work together, we can improve schooling for everyone. Those girls who are the most oppressed and defenceless will be our top priority. Those who are most likely to be left behind due to factors such as low income, disability, or the aftermath of a war or natural disaster.
This is the first of what will be an annual report tracking progress toward the two global goals for girls’ education that were endorsed by the Group of Seven. Though it would require a massive international effort, the book proves that change is possible. It will call for strategic planning, precise intervention, and high-level information. We can learn a lot from the efforts of some countries to get all of their girls into school.
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Additionally, we need to work toward the broader objective of achieving global gender equality in education. When it comes to combating harmful gender norms and preventing violence, schools play a crucial role. They have an obligation to provide a secure setting where all kids can learn without fear of harm.
People who are difficult to reach will continue to be our primary concern.
- The poor country girl with humble beginnings.
- The young lady who entered the world in a refugee camp or a war zone.
- The sick, malnourished, or otherwise impaired young lady.
If we can get through to her, we can make sure she is protected, educated, and successful in school. Consequently, we will keep taking prompt and firm measures to guarantee that every child, everywhere receives the quality education they deserve.