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Harriett Baldwin calls for debate on girls’ education worldwide and the impact of the covid-19 crisis

16th July 2020

Harriett Baldwin calls for a Parliamentary debate on the importance, globally, of 12 years of quality education for girls and concerns that as a result of the covid-19 crisis, millions of children, mainly girls, will never return to school.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

May I associate myself, Mr Speaker, with your kind words to Rui, and to the House staff for all they have done over the past few months?

In September, children in this country will be returning to their schools. Around the world it is estimated that over 1 billion children have not been in school during the covid-19 crisis. The Malala Fund this week estimates that in September there will be some 10 million children, mainly girls, who will never return to school. May we have a debate in Government time in September to mark that milestone and to talk about the Government’s own pledge for 12 years of quality education for every child in the world?

Mr Rees-Mogg

My hon. Friend raises a very important matter. Standing up for the right of 12 years of quality education for all girls is the top development priority for this Government. The UK is a world leader in supporting girls’ education around the world. Between 2015 and 2019, the Department for International Development supported 14.3 million children to gain a decent education, of whom at least 5.8 million were girls. There will be an opportunity to debate these issues in the pre-recess Adjournment debate, but the figure my hon. Friend brings forward of 1 billion children losing ​out on education is one that should concern us all. It will be important to try to make up what has been lost in future months and years.



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