Getting kids back to school

This week, thousands of parents across the UK will be sending their children back to school with a mixture of excitement and nerves.But for millions of children around the world, it’s a different story. 264 million boys and girls aren’t in school. Across Africa, 9 million girls and 6 million boys under 11 will never get an education and in Malawi, more than a third of children don’t finish primary school.

There are many, often complex, reasons why, including poverty. In Malawi, there is a shortage of quality teachers, inadequate classrooms and a lack of quality learning materials. Education is a basic human right and gives children the chance to choose for themselves what they want to be when they grow up and the life they want to lead. Having a good quality education in a safe environment means they can learn skills to not only build a better life for themselves, but for their families and their communities too.

Everyone wins when kids go to school and get a quality education.That’s why Comic Relief and UK aid are proud to have joined forces to help make sure more children than ever have a bright future. So far the partnership has helped more than half a million children into learning and education in Sub-Saharan Africa. And that’s all thanks to the enormous generosity of the British public. Two children who have been helped back in to school -with two very different stories – are seven-year-old Charles and 14-year-old Olivia.

Charles is one of many children in Malawi who have benefitted from an exciting new project run by Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), and their partners that uses tablets to make learning fun and interactive. Before using the tablets, Charles was described as unruly by his mum and his teacher reported long absence and disruptive behaviour in class. The tablets changed everything and he’s now top of his class.

Learn more about Charles’ story here.

Olivia was just 14-years-old when she got married and dropped out of school. A project run by Concern Worldwide, and their partners, worked closely with Olivia and her family to help her leave the marriage and support Olivia back into school. Their fast action meant Olivia only missed three months of school and is now excited to return to her classmates this month too. 

We’ll be sharing more about Olivia’s story later this week.