£1bn to boost world education
Apr 21 2010 From Mirror.co.uk
A plan to spend £1 billion this year to improve the schooling of children in the developing world has been announced by the Government.
International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander launched the new education strategy aimed at helping an estimated 72 million children currently out of school.
The Department for International Development (DFID) has earmarked £600 million for bilateral spending on education. About half will be invested in fragile and conflict-affected countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The remainder of the money around £400 million - will go through organisations such as the World Bank and the European Commission, with some in reserve for disasters and emergencies.
The plan comes ahead of an international conference of development experts and practitioners, organised by DFID, to look at how to keep the Millennium Development Goals on track.
The goals - agreed by developed countries 10 years ago - include ensuring all children receive at least a primary education by 2015.
Outlined in the new Learning for All plan are measures to: support 5.5 million children to go to school every year; build 15,000 new classrooms in a year; train 130,000 teachers every year; support more than 200 universities in Africa and Asia; provide more than 500 scholarships a year to students from Commonwealth countries; work with NGOs to increase the ratio of children able to read after two years of schooling from one in 10 to half by 2015; and ensure equal educational treatment for girls to aid the estimated 41 million females out of school worldwide.
Last year's education budget for the financial year 2009-10 - was approximately £780 million.
Approximately 50% of the annual £1 billion budget will go on African countries supporting eight million children a year.
The DFID also announced £50 million for separate education projects in Malawi to provide 2,000 more classrooms, train 16,000 more teachers and give grants to its 6,000 primary schools by 2013.