The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced new UK aid funding to find the most effective ways to give the world’s most vulnerable children an education.
The fund will address a chronic lack of research into the best methods to provide schooling in conflicts and long-term crises around the world.
The £15.8 million research project will focus on northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Myanmar, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. These areas are all affected by conflict and are currently home to an estimated three million children who are either refugees or internally displaced.
Children whose lives have been impacted by wars, political unrest and natural disasters often suffer a severe disruption to their learning, with life-long consequences.
This is most acute at the primary and lower secondary level, where vital reading and writing skills are taught. Girls are disproportionately affected. Even before the pandemic, only half of refugee girls were in school. Girls living in conflicts are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school. Now, due to the impact of Covid-19, 20 million girls are at risk of permanently dropping out of school in the next year.
The new UK-backed research comes ahead of the Global Education Summit, hosted by the Prime Minister in London in late July. It will raise money for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), an organisation which aims to transform education for children worldwide give 175 million children the opportunity to learn.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
Without access to schooling and effective teaching, many children are at risk of falling behind and dropping out of education permanently. A staggering 20 million girls globally are at risk of permanently dropping out of school in the next year, leaving them more vulnerable to child marriage, gender-based violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse.
The research, which will launch in September, will inform education programmes and policies worldwide.
Previous research in this field has helped shape schooling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where two in every three children who start school leave by the age of 11 or 12. The research has helped keep some of the country’s most traumatised children in school, by creating a secure and nurturing environment.
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