President Uhuru Kenyatta and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, 13th May, called on rich nations to support the education of children in low-income countries by backing the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) initiative.
The GPE is a multilateral platform that seeks to raise $5 billion to support the education of 175 million children in low-income countries across the world.
In July, Kenya and the United Kingdom will host a high-level summit in London during which they target to raise the money, some of which will be specifically invested in girl-child education and bridging the digital learning divide.
“Of course, in some parts of the world like Kenya and, many other parts of the globe, resources are scarce. That is why Boris and I are really trying to work hard in the next couple of months to raise money to ensure no child is left behind, and everyone has an opportunity to get a quality education that gives them a quality foundation to be great citizens of the globe in the years to come,” President Kenyatta said.
Premier Johnson agreed with President Kenyatta saying the world needs to comet together led by rich nations, to pool finances to ensure children have access to quality education even as countries battle Covid-19.
“We want the world to come together, we want the richest countries to make a big contribution to educating young people of the planet. We want to bridge the digital divide, we are going to help people with technology and we are also very focused on the divide between boys and girls,” the British PM said.
At the same time, President Kenyatta challenged countries that will benefit from the GPE kitty to ensure that they also contribute to the education for all agenda by allocating adequate resources in their budgets.
President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Johnson spoke when fielding questions from pupils of Westlands Primary School in Nairobi and Cleves Cross Primary School in Ferryhill, England, during a virtual tour of the two institutions.
The virtual meeting was held to among other objectives lay the ground for the July fundraising summit and, to advocate for girl-child education as well as lobby for increased investment in digital technologies especially in low income nations.
On digital technologies, President Kenyatta said Covid-19 had created an urgent need to bridge the digital divide by improving access to the internet and digital tools to ensure that all children in the world access quality education and continue to learn effectively even when crises such as Coronavirus strike.
“We have got to also really pick up on digital learning so that even when we are faced with crises like we are facing currently, all boys and girls can continue with their education from home,” the President said.
He said his administration was committed to ensuring every Kenyan child has access to quality education through the free basic education programme and the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools policy.
“First and foremost, it is important for every single child to have an opportunity to get quality education and what we are doing here in Kenya is trying to ensure that we have made, for example primary education completely free for all regardless of their backgrounds,” President Kenyatta said.
Once again, President Kenyatta congratulated Kenyan children and teachers for an excellent performances in the national examinations despite the disruptions brought about by the Covid-19.
PM Johnson reiterated his administration’s commitment to the educational for all agenda saying through GPE, Kenya and the UK was targeting to get 88 million girls to access quality education.
“In some countries, girls are not getting the education they need and people aren’t treating girls the same as boys when it comes to education. They are not getting the same funding and attention,” he observed.
President Kenyatta was accompanied to the virtual meeting by Education CS George Magoha, ICT minister Joe Mucheru and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.
Also present were Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, British High Commissioner Jane Marriott and State House Deputy Chief of Staff incharge of Strategy and Policy Ruth Kagia.
Prime Minister Johnson brought along former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, who is the chairperson of GPE.