1. How does Germany engage in the field of education in international development cooperation?
Education is a human right and key to human development. Therefore, we promote quality education for all learners – worldwide and at all stages of learning. We place special emphasis on the principle of “leave no one behind”, which is why we focus on girls’ education and education in the context of crises and emergencies.
Over recent years, we have already more than doubled our commitments to education; our contributions have risen from around EUR 480 million in 2014 to around EUR 1 billion in 2019. We especially value the effectiveness of multilateral approaches in education, like the Global Partnership for Education.
2. On the International Day of the Girl on October 11, you raised your hand for girls’ education. Why is girls’ education and GPE so important in your opinion?
First of all, education empowers. It enables girls and women to develop their personalities and skills and to live a self-determined life. This has particularly positive effects on the development of society as a whole, for example, in terms of health and demographic and economic development. Educated mothers are, for example, better able to prioritize the education, health and well-being of their family.
Nevertheless, girls and women remain particularly disadvantaged worldwide and a girl is still three times more likely never to go to school than a boy. So we still have a long way to go before we achieve gender equality in education.
To reach this goal, we need strong partnerships committed to learning – such as GPE. Because of its coordinating role, GPE is a key player in the international education architecture.
3. How does Germany support children in continuing learning and especially in bringing girls back to school after the COVID-19 crisis?
The BMZ has put together a comprehensive “Emergency COVID-19 Support Program” of which education is an important component. We quickly adapted to the pandemic and its consequences by promoting distance learning approaches in cooperation with our partners in developing countries and by expanding WASH measures in our education and vocational training projects.
But we know that this is not enough. We see that girls are more at risk than boys of not returning to education once schools reopen. That is why Germany is supporting developing countries and emerging economies in minimizing those risks, for instance, by re-opening educational institutions as safe spaces.
In the long term, it will be crucial to strengthen the overall resilience of education systems. Through its support of holistic reform efforts, the Global Partnership for Education – and especially its COVID-19 Response – is of great importance.