• Thursday, December 01, 2022


UK launches girls’ education drive for India on Women’s Day

Students of a government high school and pre-university college for women gather for prayer assembly inside the premises of the educational institute in Bangalore on February 16, 2022 (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE UK government launched a girls’ education drive aimed at developing countries, including India to mark International Women’s Day. 

The government will work with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (GenU) to implement the new Girls’ Education Skills Partnership which will be funded by Accenture, Standard Chartered, Unilever, Microsoft, and United Bank for Africa.

The UK will contribute an initial £9 million, with businesses providing £11m in total towards the initiative.

The funding will help expand GenU’s Passport to Earning (P2E) platform, a digital skills platform designed to provide girls with free, certified education and skills training. India is among seven countries identified for the P2E platform, alongside Brazil, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Niger and Egypt.

Four top aides desert embattled Johnson
British prime minister Boris Johnson. (Photo by KIRSTY O’CONNOR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK 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,” said UK prime minister Boris Johnson as he hosted the business leaders involved in the initiative at Downing Street in London.

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.


Liz Truss
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrives for a regional cabinet meeting at the Rolls-Royce factory on October 15, 2021 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “Supporting women and girls is at the heart of UK foreign policy. We want women to have agency over their own lives and to be free to succeed. “Investing in girls’ education is vital for a more sustainable, peaceful and prosperous future. That’s why we are partnering with the private sector to help girls in developing countries access education and job opportunities.”

Under the new partnership, businesses, charities, schools and colleges will shortly be able to bid for funds from the programme. It 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.

Some of the businesses involved will be contributing books, computers and other technology, mentors, advice and access to their networks, skills and training programmes.

According to official estimates, the pandemic has created even more barriers to education, with a peak of 1.6 billion children around the world having faced school closures.

Helen Grant
Helen Grant

Every girl everywhere deserves to have an education. From school right the way through to the workplace, our partnership will help give women and girls the skills they need to reach their full potential,” said Helen Grant, the UK prime minister’s special envoy for Girls’ Education.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the UK plays a leading role in the education sector globally and that between 2015 and 2020, it supported at least 15.6m children in developing countries to gain a decent education, including 8.1m girls.


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