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Singing sensation Rihanna visited local schools in Malawi to explore funding for private school curriculum. Rihanna’s charity, Clara Lionel Foundation, is partnering with Global Partnership for Education to work with world leaders to raise $3.1 billion between 2018-2020. The funding is to increase education budgets and funding to Global Partnership. During the trip, Rihanna learned first-hand how poverty plays a role in low educational outcomes worldwide. During her trip, Rihanna met with the Global Partnership leadership and the Education Department of Malawi, about the challenges in educational advancement. In Malawi, many children do not attend school, due to lack of food. Some children are too hungry to focus on learning, keeping them from attending school. Many of the old schools were built by the government and NGO’s and now the new ones are built by the community.
There is also a gender gap in education for girls in Malawi. There are not enough schools for girls in rural areas, which creates long distances to travel. Rihanna and the Global Partnership contingent learned that when a girl has an education, she has control over her life. This control includes marriage, where arranged marriages are common for young girls, due to economic hardships. One female student spoke about some arranged partners possibly having HIV/AIDS and not be aware of it. The lack of education puts girls at risk for exposure to HIV/AIDS, in exchange for economic stability. The female student emphasized how education provides more economic opportunities. An educated girl allows herself to choose a mate for quality of life and not due to economic hardship.
In addition to the gender gap in private school curriculum, there is also a low uptake ratio. A Zimbabwean educator explained that uptake ratio demonstrates a student’s ability to go from primary school to secondary school. She added that Zimbabwe has more educational resources nationwide than Malawi. In Malawi, she explained that 70%-75% of children are accepted into primary school. However, only 8% of primary school students complete secondary school. Another significant detail is the student-teacher ratio is 1 teacher per 100 students. These statistics result in a grave need for funding in private school curriculum, to advance educational needs for Malawi and other countries in need.
In the previously mentioned needs and challenges, it is crucial to support global education in countries like Malawi. There are children across the globe who need educational opportunities, to decrease poverty and improve their quality of life. Donating to the Global Partnership for Education is a healthy investment. Your donations will help world leaders to invest more in education, to improve the well-being of their country. To donate, visit globalcitizen.org/gpe