Kenya, UK Lobby for Sh542 Billion in Post-Covid-19 Education Fundraiser

Nairobi — Kenya and the United Kingdom pleaded with world leaders on Wednesday to participate the Global Education Summit that is to be hosted by the two nations in London on July 26.

The two nations will co-host the summit that primarily aims to raise Sh542.1 billion for children's schooling in 90 poorer countries.

President Uhuru Kenyatta urged world leaders to unite and secure the global children's' future by investing more in education ahead of the summit.

"I remain committed to ensuring that all children regardless of where they are in the world can access quality education. I call upon world leaders to join in this commitment to our children by supporting the Global Partnership for Education replenishment campaign and by protecting their education budgets," he said.

Already, the Head of State has invited the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government to join the effort and commit to protect education budgets in their respective countries.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is an initiative which was launched in 2002 with singer Rihanna as a global ambassador.

The GPE has helped get 160 million more children into school and doubled the enrollment of girls in the countries where it works

Speaking to Capital News Wednesday on the ongoing preparations for the summit, United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner Julius Court noted that the funds will be pivotal as the monies would add 175 million extra children to school rolls in the 90 lower-income countries.

"It is about getting that commitment to ensure that all children can get quality education. We want to really inspire people to learn and to look forward. We really want to help children thrive in the 21st century," he said.

Court, a St. Mary School alumnus, underscored that the funds raised for the GPE will go a long way in securing the lives of many children especially now that the threat of COVID-19 is still alive despite the ongoing global vaccination exercise.

"Our commitment is to ensure that children do not drop of schools and more importantly ensure that they get to access quality education," he said.

Court stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has particularly made the girl child education more difficulty citing that a majority have been forced to drop out of schools after getting pregnant during the period they were out of schools.

"The COVID-19 crisis has dimmed the hopes of a generation of children and young people and there is a real risk of a lost generation of girls never returning to school. Girls' education must be at the heart of building back better from COVID-19," he said.

The summit targets to get 40 million more girls in school and a third more girls reading by the age of ten in low and middle-income countries by 2025, and all girls 12 years of quality education.

In the latest statistics compiled by GPE, some 1.3 billion children including 650 million girls have lost out on months of education, and many may never return because of the economic havoc caused by COVID-19.

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