This is a mobile classroom in India taking lessons to children who can’t get to ordinary schools. Innovation like this supported by DFID is helping to put children around the world into education. There have been real improvements since the setting of the Millennium Development Goals for Education but the report card is mixed. Governments and organizations have made good progress but there’s much more to be done and they must try even harder.
Almost 90% of the world’s young children are in primary school now, 47 million more than when the education goals were set. They’re taught by 2 million more teachers and the number of girls in class is catching up with the number of boys. The progress is slowing down and too few children are staying on for secondary school. So DFID’s new education strategy is designed to get more students into every level of schooling and training from primary to higher education.
Children who’ve fled from fighting in the Central African Republic are learning at a temporary school supported by DFID. More than half of all the children who are still not in primary education live in fragile or conflict-affected states.
“I love going to school, it’s great. In a war I can’t go to school. I can’t continue my education.”
…says an African child.
So DFID is increasing the proportion of aid it gives to countries like this. And because the world needs 10 million more teachers, DFID will train at least a hundred and thirty thousand more a year. DFID will spend a billion pounds a year on education so Britain is putting roughly as many children through primary school abroad as it does at home—more than 5 million. The aim is to make sure that the classes the children take are high quality and teach them the skills they need to get work and lead fulfilled lives.
Too many children finishing schools are still unable to read and do basic maths. And to do all of this, DFID will do work even more closely with governments, agencies, companies and religious groups. Education isn’t just a basic human right, it is a good investment and key to addressing 21st century challenges. School people earn more, live longer and help to keep their countries prosperous and at peace. The cost of waste of talent is beyond measure!