On International Day of the Girl Child, innovation key to more girls in school and learning
11 October 2013 - To mark the second International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF today highlighted the power of innovation to get more girls in school and improve the quality of learning for all children.
Despite the decreasing number of girls out of school, too many in Zimbabwe and around the world are still denied a quality education and a chance to reach their full potential. Evidence shows that even a single year of secondary school for a girl correlates with as much as a 25 per cent increase in her future earnings. But today, millions of girls are still out of school, including 31 million primary school aged girls.
“Education can transform the lives of girls and strengthen their communities,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “Innovation can help us reach every girl by transforming education.”
With its partners, UNICEF is exploring how technology can increase access to education for out-of-school girls and improve the quality of learning for every child.
In Zimbabwe, UNICEF and the government are offering more than 36,000 out of school girls an opportunity to return to school through the Second Chance Education program. The program is offering accelerated learning for girls who have never been to primary school and life skills through functional literacy and numeracy. For girls who are not able to return into the formal system, the program offers technical training in agriculture in partnership with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union.
Innovation is not only about technology. It can mean embracing new ways to overcome other barriers that keep girls out of school, like improving sanitary facilities and keeping girls safe as they walk to and from school.
“Innovation is giving us powerful new tools to reach and teach more girls than ever before,” said Mr Lake. “To help more girls go to school, stay in school, and complete their learning, we need to keep learning ourselves, using these new tools, generating new ideas, and scaling up the most promising innovations.”