UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced an additional £55 million (about 172.9bn/-), to support Tanzania’s education sector.
The amount is an additional to the already released £400 allocated for girl’s education this year (2021/2022), which reaffirmed UK’s ambition to get more girls to school, British High Commissioner, David Concar revealed at the commemoration of International Day of the Girl Child held at his residence in Dar es Salaam.
In attendance was the Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, who also announced the government’s plan to cut down the technology divide between girls and boys. At the event heralded by a theme: ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation’, Minister Ndalichako thanked UK government and other local Non-Government Organizations dealing with education, including HakiElimu and Save the Children for supporting the country’s education sector.
“The theme: ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation’ reminds the society about the right of digital technology to both girls and children,” Prof Ndalichako said.
She said the digital inequality between female and male is vivid in the country, since the latter is far behind by 20 per cent in the ownership of smartphones compared to their counterparts. The Education Minister called for affirmative action to address the digital divide by supporting the marginalized groups, including girls and students living with disabilities to close the gap.
Addressing the event, the British High Commissioner David Concar said “This year’s theme - Digital Generation, Our Generation- is a reflection of the increased demand for technology as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.” The diplomat said the Girls Education Challenge (GEC) is directly supporting over 95,000 marginalized girls to transition to secondary school, succeed academically, go on to further studies and secure fulfilling livelihood and employment opportunities.
He unveiled that the UK’s ambition is to get 40 million more girls into school in the next five years. Meanwhile, HakiElimu Executive Director and Chairman of Tanzania Education Network (TEN/MET) Dr John Kallage mentioned factors behind technology divide among girls and boys, citing existing social, cultural, policy and laws challenges.
He suggested that all laws like the Marriage Act are an obstacle to the development of girls’ education as he called for stakeholders to debate on alternative pathways which will enable girls who dropped out of formal education to go back to class.