Editorial: Boris Johnson's hypocrisy over his new global education pledge is galling

Editorial: Boris Johnson's hypocrisy over his new global education pledge is galling

Even by his own extravagant standards of chutzpah, Boris Johnson placing himself at the head of a campaign to help educate every child in the world is a cheeky move. He has used the G7 summit pretty shamelessly to claim credit for a perfectly laudable international effort to direct billions of dollars into post-pandemic educational recovery, with especial emphasis on school places for girls in poorer nations. Never one of life’s feminists, Mr Johnson’s extravagant-sounding plans might carry more conviction were he not simultaneously slashing the overseas aid budget by billions a year and, in the latest round of funding, allocating about £50 per child (in England) for the catch-up in teaching required after a year of unprecedented disruption. Mr Johnson’s announcement sets out the present acute challenge very well. The Covid-19 pandemic has indeed caused an unprecedented global education crisis, with 1.6 billion children around the world out of school at its peak. Girls have been hardest hit as the pandemic compounded the obstacles to education they already face, including poverty, gender-based violence and child marriage. All true, and, …
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