To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Research on Improving Systems of Education programme (RISE) funded by his Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of reductions to the aid budget on addressing the learning crisis caused by covid-19 pandemic and strengthening education systems.
13 January 2021
FCDO-funded research has improved our global understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting on the lives and learning outcomes of young people in low and middle income countries. The Research on Improving Systems of Education programme (RISE) has done some modelling on the severe impact that school closures may have on learning outcomes across low and middle income countries. COVID-19 represents an unprecedented education crisis. 1.6 billion students were out of education at the peak of school closures and millions of children in the most vulnerable places may never return to school. In response to COVID-19, the FCDO has adapted education programmes in 18 countries and provided over £10 million of new funding to support refugee and displaced children access education in some of the toughest parts of the world.
As set out by the Foreign Secretary, girls' education will remain a priority for UK aid, supporting girls to return to school and complete 12 years of quality education. This focus, and findings from modelling such as those by RISE, will be taken into account as decisions on future ODA spending are made.