AusAID and Global Partnership for Education help to increase access to education
21 May, 2012
Carol Bellamy’s belief in the transformative powers of education has taken her to some of the world’s poorest nations, where education remains out of reach for more than 67 million children.
Education provides opportunities for the world’s poorest children by giving them the skills to gain employment and earn an income, increasing productivity in communities. If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. This would mean a 12 per cent cut in global poverty.
Carol Bellamy, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), is visiting Australia this week to discuss Australia’s partnership with GPE and the importance of increasing engagement in the Asia Pacific region.
Ms Bellamy’s belief in the transformative powers of education has taken her to some of the world’s poorest nations, where education remains out of reach for more than 67 million children.
'I remember once seeing a little girl who was living in a camp for displaced people studying in what was a makeshift ‘school’. Her surroundings couldn’t have been worse, yet she took in everything the teacher was saying with such enthusiasm that I knew I had to help her get the education she craved. And there are millions of children just like her,' Ms Bellamy said.
Together AusAID and GPE are helping children in 46 low income countries to enrol in school with 11 of these countries situated in our region. Australia is the fourth largest donor to GPE and is providing $270 million in support from 2011-2015. Our support will help GPE to enrol 20 million more children in primary school and reduce the number of primary aged children out of school by 40 per cent.
Support from AusAID and GPE has already contributed to significant progress in the Asia Pacific:
- helped to deliver a School Meal Program in Laos that has provided meals to approximately 150,000 primary and 8,000 pre-primary school children.
- boosted first grade comprehension in Cambodia by 58 per cent in target schools, built or refurbished more than 1000 primary school classrooms and provided almost 12,000 primary school scholarships
- helped more children in Papua New Guinea attend school for at least nine years, with a view to providing this opportunity to all children by 2019
- increased grade 1-3 enrolments in Timor Leste in remote areas by 13 per cent and provided literacy and numeracy training, teaching materials and strengthened education data to improve education services.
During her visit, Ms Bellamy is meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr as well as other parliamentarians, senior AusAID officers and education and development representatives. Ms Bellamy will also participate in a discussion panel being conducted by the Oaktree Foundation and Monash University on achieving universal primary education in the Asia Pacific region.
Global Partnership for Education (external website)
AusAID’s Focus Online profiles Carol Bellamy
Last Reviewed: 21 May, 2012