Britain pledges £8.5bn boost for education in war zones

Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nepal and Nigeria cited as priorities

War-torn and lawless countries will receive a massive boost in international aid to fund education, under a shake-up due to be unveiled today.

The Government is singling out countries in conflict as part of it's wider £8.5bn aid package – heralding a switch in resources from backing a more general development programme.

However, it will mean funding will be channelled to countries where there has been the least success in getting children into school.

These include Tanzania – where school enrolment has now doubled with 98 per cent of all children going to school – and Malawi where enrolment rates have increased by about 60 per cent since universal free primary education was made available in 1994.

Ministers have described the move as "a fundamental shift" to current policy on education aid.

The five countries considered as top priority are Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nepal, Nigeria and Yemen. Others cited by the Government include Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Under a shake-up, at least 50 per cent of all new bilateral aid available will be earmarked for what are termed "vulnerable countries".

The money, available between now and 2015, will be used to set up "safe zones" around schools and give families basic financial support – on the condition they send their children to school.

Officials acknowledge that – particularly in war zones – families are under pressure to send their children out to work to earn a living to supplement their income.

As a result, ministers will approve giving them the equivalent of the wage the child would earn – so long as they ensure the child goes to school instead.

In addition, they could approve aid for food parcels to ease the pressure on sending children out to earn a living.

The "remodelling" of the aid programme, to be spelt out in a document being released online today, is aimed at helping the United Nations reach its declared goal of providing all primary schoolchildren with a place by 2015.

Mike Foster, International Development minister for Education, said: "The UK's aid programme has achieved real results in education.

"But we must go further. That is why we are looking at what we need to do to help those children who have proved hardest to reach."

Case study: Child soldier who turned his life around

Patrick Omwony is a prime example of the children who can be helped by government aid.

He was abducted by rebels in northern Uganda at the age of nine and made to fight as a child soldier with the Lord's Resistance army, the rebel grouping in northern Uganda.

According to the Department for International Development, it can be very difficult for youngsters to quit once they have been abducted.

Patrick, who is now 17, found the courage to escape through listening to a broadcast on a radio station funded by DfID, Mega FM. It featured interviews with child soldiers who had made the break with their past lives.

Those interviewed told how they had been covered by amnesty protections once they had escaped.

Once back home, Patrick received counselling, clothing and bedding and began to earn money by growing sesame seeds that he sells at the local market.

Now, with help, he is planning to go back to school to study for a course in vocational training which will help him with his farming.



The Department for International Development is launching a wide-ranging public consultation today to investigate a range of options that will help shape a new education strategy which will be published later this year. DFID’s Education Strategy: Consultation Paper can be viewed at consultation.dfid.gov.uk/education2010 .

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

DT Teacher, Full time supply role, Maidstone school

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently require an experienc...

Primary supply teachers required in Stowmarket

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

Geography Teacher, Immediate start, Dover School

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is urgently s...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam