Canada supports global education

November 7, 2011

Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced Canada's continued commitment to the advancement of education for all children.

"Canada has a long-standing commitment to ensuring girls, boys, and youth have access to quality basic education. Despite the progress being made toward global education, we know that 67 million children worldwide are still out of school: a majority of those are girls, and almost half of these children are living in conflict-affected and fragile states," said Minister Oda. "Education is a critical factor in poverty reduction, and achieving progress in improved health, productivity, and equality among the world's most vulnerable, particularly among girls and women."

Basic education, particularly for girls, remains a central focus of Canadian official development assistance and is an essential goal of CIDA's Children and Youth Strategy. CIDA's commitment has contributed to important results in basic education. In 2010, CIDA assisted the Mozambique Ministry of Education to distribute newly revised textbooks, student workbooks, and teacher manuals to more than 3.5 million primary school students and teachers. In Bangladesh, CIDA and its partners contributed to the funding of 6,500 non-formal primary schools, improving access to education for working children. In Afghanistan, CIDA helped establish more than 4,000 community-based schools, providing basic education for 125,000 children, of whom nearly 85 percent are girls.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), formerly known as the Education for All-Fast Track Initiative, supports the Millennium Development Goal of education for all children by 2015. Since 2002, the GPE, through the financial support of Canada and other donor countries, has helped enrol 19 million more children into school, supported the construction of more than 30,000 classrooms, and trained more than 337,000 teachers. Canada will contribute to the international effort to accelerating progress toward meeting the goal of universal education by 2015 with a commitment of $45 million to the GPE over a three-year period ending in 2013-2014.

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For more information:
Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Tel. 819-953-6238
Email: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Tel. 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

Basic, quality education is a critical factor in reducing poverty and in supporting sustainable development. Education plays a key role in reducing child deaths, slowing population growth, preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, providing protection from abuse and exploitation, and creating equality between men and women. Despite the progress being made, approximately 67 million children worldwide still do not attend school. Almost half of them live in conflict-affected and fragile states, and girls in low-income countries are still not achieving their full potential.

CIDA's Children and Youth Strategy supports the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015, with priority given to ensuring equal access to education for girls. In 2010-2011, Canada's financial support to education in developing countries equalled $416 million. To achieve effectiveness and long-term sustainability, Canada is investing in education in developing countries by increasingly aligning its work with national government plans that demonstrate a strong commitment to building accessible, quality education for all children.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), formerly known as the Education for All-Fast Track Initiative, supports the goal of education for all children. Since 2002, the GPE, through the financial support of Canada and other donor countries, has helped enrol 19 million more children into school, supported the construction of more than 30,000 classrooms, and trained more than 337,000 teachers. Canada will contribute to the international effort to accelerate progress toward meeting the goal of universal education by 2015 with a commitment of $45 million to the GPE over a three-year period ending in 2013-2014.

In addition, CIDA will continue to make direct investments in education in developing countries, working with non-governmental organizations and other country donors, that increase enrolment and improve teacher training, teaching materials, and curriculum development. These are examples of the results achieved through CIDA's country-based projects:

  • In Mozambique, CIDA assisted the Mozambique Ministry of Education to distribute newly revised textbooks, student workbooks, and teacher manuals to more than 3.5 million primary school students and teachers.
  • In Bangladesh, CIDA and its partners contributed to the funding of 6,500 non-formal primary schools, improving access to education for working children.
  • In Afghanistan, CIDA helped establish more than 4,000 community-based schools, providing basic education for 125,000 children, of whom nearly 85 percent are girls.
  • In Senegal, where Canada is the lead donor in the education sector, CIDA supported the training of more than 20,000 new teachers. In collaboration with UNICEF, CIDA also supported 230 child-friendly schools, which provide healthy, protective, inclusive, and gender-sensitive learning environments for children and youth.

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