I firmly believe that investing in education is in all our interests because it provides children with the best route out of poverty, giving them the power to improve their own lives and their country, and ultimately reduce developing countries' reliance on aid. Globally, I believe we must push for education for both girls and boys because evidence shows that when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, it has a strong positive impact. For example, she is much more likely to marry later, to have healthier children and to be economically productive. But it is not just about having the chance to go to school, children must be well taught and what they learn must improve their opportunities in life.
I am proud that between 2011 and 2015, the Department for International Development supported over 11 million children, including 5.3 million girls, in primary and lower secondary education in developing countries. The Government has committed to helping at least another 11 million children in the poorest countries gain a decent education by 2020. DFID is on track to deliver this, having supported 7.1 million children to gain a decent education between 2015 and 2017. This is a huge investment in a better future for these children.
I hope this assures you of both mine and the Government's commitment to ensuring children around the world receive a quality education.