Launched by Discovery Communications, a founding member of GBC-Education, in 1997, Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA) is opening new doors to education in 16 countries, reaching millions through schools and millions more through broadcast television and mass media initiatives in the developing world. DLA is also part of the GBC-Education Girls’ Education Task Force.
Discovery Learning Alliance participated in a No Ceilings Conversation and community discussion about girls’ education in a DLA project school in Nairobi on May 1. The event was one of several stops on a larger tour that both President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are participating in to visit Clinton Foundation projects and partners making an impact in areas such as education, the environment, and girls’ and women’s full participation across Africa.
Chelsea Clinton moderated a panel discussion with Tamela Noboa, managing director of Discovery Learning Alliance and Kennedy Odede, founder of Shining Hope for Communities, which focused on progress made in girls’ primary school education over the past two decades and the challenges that remain in getting and keeping girls in secondary education.
“The problem of quality education is similar to the one we are facing even in America,” said Chelsea Clinton. “It is a global challenge to ensure that everyone gets quality education in the 21st century.”
Community members, education officials, teachers, parents and students joined the conversation to speak directly about what they see as successes and gaps in girls’ education.
According to UNESCO, 62 million girls are not in primary or secondary school. Millions more are in school, but not learning. The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative cites that some countries lose more than US $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls at the same level as boys. Greater equity between boys’ and girls’ education could help address many development challenges.
“Intelligence is evenly distributed all over the world, but opportunity is not,” President Clinton said. “We can’t stop until opportunity is evenly distributed. Thanks to Discovery and their program, I went to a biology class today for the first time in more than 50 years. And [it] was better than the one I had the first time around.”
President Clinton also thanked Discovery Learning Alliance “for everything they’ve done to make this world a better place.”
“We are so pleased that the Clinton Foundation visited one of our project schools, and continues to inspire partnerships like we have here in Kenya among Discovery, DFID, the Kenya Ministry of Education and the schools themselves,” said Tamela Noboa, managing director of Discovery Learning Alliance. “We know that when you invest in girls’ education, the benefits ripple throughout their family, community and the world. Ultimately, these girls and their communities are the agents of change who will show us that there is no limit to what the world can achieve when they are fully participating.”
DLA uses the power of media to transform education and improve lives in marginalized communities around the world. DLA’s in-school interventions have reached more than 1.6 million students, trained 24,000 teachers, and touched more than 4.8 million community members in 16 countries.
In 2013, Discovery Communications and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) engaged in a unique public-private partnership as part of DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge. Implemented by Discovery Learning Alliance, the Discovery Project aims to improve education and life opportunities for marginalized girls in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. In 2014, DLA expanded that goal by joining the Clinton Global Initiative’s Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education (CHARGE). CHARGE is a consortium of more than 30 organizations working to expand access to and increase the quality of girls’ secondary education around the world. DLA has already reached more than 100,000 girls through the Discovery Project.
No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project is the newest Clinton Foundation initiative, launched to inspire and advance the full participation of women and girls around the world. As part of the initiative, more than 20 conversations have been held around the world, discussing development issues with stakeholders and changemakers.