Johnson urges leaders to prevent Covid ‘legacy of wasted talent’


The UK is leading international efforts to 40 million more girls into school, and 20 million more reading by age 10, over the next five years…reports Asian Lite News.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call on world leaders today to invest in children’s education and avoid a ‘legacy of wasted talent’ due to the pandemic, as the UK and Kenya host the Global Education Summit in London.

The Summit will raise funds for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which is aiming to secure at least $5 billion over the next five years to get 175 million more children into learning around the world. The UK already pledged £430 million to GPE at the G7 Summit in June.

The pandemic has devastated children’s education around the world, with girls particularly at risk of never returning to school once they have left – even before this crisis 132 million girls were out of school globally.

The UK is leading international efforts to 40 million more girls into school, and 20 million more reading by age 10, over the next five years. The government said it will spend £400 million in UK aid this year supporting girls education, as one of the priority areas for international development funding.

Speaking ahead of the Summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We have a fight on our hands to ensure Covid-19 does not scupper the life chances of millions of children, leaving a lasting legacy of wasted talent.”

“Too many children around the world – girls in particular – were already out of school before the pandemic. Enabling them to learn and reach their full potential is the single greatest thing we can do to recover from this crisis and build better, greener and fairer societies.”

“Today I am urging governments, businesses and philanthropists to invest in the future by fully funding the transformative work of the Global Partnership for Education,” he added.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta at Chequers. Picture by Jules Packer / MOD / No 10 Downing Street

In addition to raising funds for GPE, the Summit will ask leaders to sign up to a landmark political declaration on education financing led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, with governments committing to spend at least 20 percent of their national budgets on education.

The Global Education Summit will be opened on Thursday by the Foreign Secretary, alongside Raychelle Omamo, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Alice Albright, CEO of GPE.

World leaders, businesses, UN agencies, charities and youth leaders will join virtually and in person to pledge funds and commit to actions to support girls’ education – a full programme can be found here.

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