Jill Friedmann, 1st June 2018

NUT18: Global education and the education of girls in developing countries

Educating girls benefits the whole of the community. The United Nations Millenium Sustainable Development Goals SDG received wide support and some progress has been made with SDG2 with more girls enrolled in school in the developing countries. Sadly, the lack of money to support further progress has been in short supply. An estimated 63 million primary aged children are not in school and more than 264m do not receive secondary education.

Speakers referred to education as an engine for progress but if development and aid money is not forthcoming then the gap will be filled by those hoping to profit financially from involvement in education. Much of foreign aid money is tied to trade deals and not to educating the population. Britain continues to spend 0.7% GDP on foreign aid but it is sad to learn that the DFID has used aid money to facilitate the setting up of academies in Kenya and Uganda rather than on extending education for all.

We recognise the barriers to the education of girls including forced early marriage and pregnancy, child trafficking, child labour, sexual violence in areas of conflict and caring for younger siblings. This union has long been an advocate for getting more children into school and the plight of girls in particular needs to be addressed. Our own Steve Sinnott Foundation continues to work on global education issues.

Unfortunately, this motion (60) was timed out and no vote was taken. Perhaps it will receive more support from members next year and be placed higher up the agenda.


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