Discovery Communications Helps Girls to Discover Education
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Education shapes lives. Sadly, right now in the world, 65 million girls of primary school and lower secondary school age have never been to school. This increases the likelihood that these girls will be forced into an early marriage, or will have to deal with an early or unwanted pregnancy, or endure the harrowing ordeal of violence and sexual abuse. It is a fact that girls with an education are less likely to suffer from maternal mortality, disease and other symptoms of poverty. Investing in girls’ education not only improves literacy and educational outcomes, it is instrumental in improving livelihoods and eradicating poverty.
Discovery Communications, the world’s number one non-fiction media company, has teamed up with the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID), making it a pivotal moment for collective action to improve the lives of young girls living in Africa. Discovery is investing £12.3 million in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria and will be match-funded by DFID, which is also funding another 20 smaller innovative projects delivering girls’ education in Asia and West Africa. The funding forms part of the U.K. government’s Girls’ Education Challenge, helping up to one million of the world’s impoverished girls gain access to education to transform their lives.
Investing in girls is the right and smart thing to do, as education is vital if girls are to reach their full potential and contribute to society. Girls with an education marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and, when an extra income can be earned, they will reinvest 90 per cent of it in her family and community. Therefore, the skills and expertise being given via Discovery Communications is letting more girls have the chance to improve their lives.
Discovery’s partnership will provide marginalised girls in these three countries with the power of media to improve lives, reaching over 1.2 million girls. Discovery will set up 1,000 ‘Learning Centres’ in schools, will establish sustainable technology and video programming, and train 8,000 teachers how to use media to improve teaching and learning. Discovery will also collaborate with girls and experts to develop nationally broadcast television discussions where issues of gender can be woven into the public dialogue. It will also train and support communities on how to develop and implement their own action plans to address gender marginalisation issues including the support of self-formed girls clubs for in and out-of-school girls to encourage them to attend, stay and succeed in school!
An education gives children confidence to face the future and that includes girls, who have a fundamental right to good quality schooling. Education is not simply a moral imperative—it is the smart choice. Every dollar invested generates US$ 10 to US$ 15 in returns, yet as we know worldwide, many girls are not in school. We cannot deny the promise of quality education to any child as the stakes are too high. When we put education first, we end wasted potential and look forward to better societies for all.
Photo Credit: DFID