Photo: Charlie Bibby, FT-Camfed

Camfed and Pearson launch partnership for girls' education

By Jess Lines, Pearson

We are delighted to announce a pioneering new partnership between Camfed and Pearson to transform educational opportunities for girls in Zimbabwe and Tanzania.The Camfed-Pearson partnership has been awarded a grant under the prestigious Girls’ Education Challenge, launched by the UK’s Department for International Development to give one million of the world’s poorest girls the chance to improve their lives through education.

The Camfed-Pearson partnership will enable 60,000 vulnerable girls in Zimbabwe and Tanzania to enrol in secondary school, benefit more than 400,000 children through action to improve their learning, and create new opportunities for young people in the poorest rural communities.

The programme builds on Camfed’s 20 years’ experience in getting girls into school across Africa, and harnesses Pearson’s wealth of expertise in providing innovative learning and training materials.

“This is a unique opportunity to explore what works at scale to transform educational opportunities for vulnerable girls,” says Lucy Lake, CEO of Camfed International. “And it will embed a legacy that benefits generations to come.”

A core aspect of this programme will be to develop learning resources that are relevant to young people’s post school prospects and future wellbeing, recognising that a narrow academic focus does not adequately prepare young people for life beyond school.

The initiative builds on the growing success and power of Cama – the Camfed Association, a peer support network for young women school-leavers with a membership of over 17,000 across Africa. Through Cama, we will roll-out an innovative para-educator model, involving young people who’ve completed school devoting a certain number of volunteer hours per week to assist children’s learning. It is anticipated that many of these young people will transition to in-service teacher training and ultimately take up position as qualified teachers in their home communities.

The Girls’ Education Challenge will also enable Camfed to extend its pioneering work on mobile phone technology to open up opportunities for young people in remote rural areas. The ‘Social Education Network’ will freely connect young people across the region and provide them with learning modules and peer mentoring beyond the classroom.

Camfed and Pearson have the full support of the Ministries of Education in Zimbabwe and Tanzania for this exciting new venture, which we believe represents a major opportunity to demonstrate the value and impact of a cross-sectoral partnership in support of girls’ education.

“Pearson are really pleased to be working in partnership with Camfed to help improve the quality of girls education in Africa. The ambition of DFID’s Girls Education Challenge is one that we share – that of helping some of the world’s poorest people to improve their lives through learning.” John Fallon, CEO, Pearson.

Editor’s Note:

This article also appeared on the Pearson website, and is reproduced with permission.

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