By Praveen Prasad, Global Partnership for Education Secretariat and Mary Jo Jean-François, Rotary International Area of Focus Manager for Basic Education and Literacy
Last October, the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation and the Board of Rotary International approved a strategic partnership with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). GPE is the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries, and a unique, multi-stakeholder partnership. It works to deliver quality education so that every girl and boy can have hope, opportunity and agency. GPE works with close to 70 lower-income countries to help them build stronger, more effective education systems, and improve the volume, equity, and efficiency of domestic resources.
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Rotary International both know that public-private collaboration and partnership are fundamental in the pursuit and achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Strong collaborative partnerships are essential, especially to ensure that the poorest and most marginalized children have an equal chance at quality and lifelong learning opportunities. That’s why, through a strategic alliance with the Ministry of Education, GPE and Rotary are partnering in ways that enhance and add unique value to Kenya’s efforts to strengthen the country’s education system.
Since 2005, GPE has supported Kenya’s impressive progress toward getting all children into school and learning. That progress, in turn, has advanced the country’s overall economic and social development. However, despite this remarkable progress in education and economic development, poor and disadvantaged Kenyan children from remote regions are less likely to attend or complete primary school.
Kenyan Rotarians have chosen Turkana County, the largest county located in north-western Kenya, as the focal regional to jumpstart the implementation of the partnership at the country level. In Turkana children continue to face deep economic and educational challenges. Issues such as generational poverty, distance to school, lack of access to learning materials and digital resources, and poor nutrition continue to impede children’s learning.
Working with GPE and the Kenyan Education Ministry, Rotary clubs and districts will be able to expand their impact by better understanding the national education sector plan, learning how to engage with the national and local governments to implement this plan and how to advocate for equitable education, especially in resource-constrained and remote communities like Turkana and elsewhere in Kenya. It is through this partnership that we hope to enhance the lives of countless children in Kenya, by providing them high quality education, which will lead them to a brighter future for themselves and their country.
To find out more about the partnership with GPE, how to expand the partnership into your country or how you can be involved, please contact Mary Jo Jean-Francois.