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PHOTO CAPTION: COL President and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar speaking at the Commonwealth Women's Forum in London.

Commonwealth Says Political Will, Tech-based Learning Key To Girls’ Education

… Education will empower more girls




The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) President and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar, has suggested three policy approaches to ensure that more girls have access to quality schooling.


Speaking at the Commonwealth Women’s Forum in London today, she stressed the need for political will among stakeholders. She added that focusing on open, distance and technology-based learning, as well as on the development of social capital, will expose more girls to education.


“COL is committed to promoting ‘learning for sustainable development’ and women’s equality and empowerment are central to that vision,” said Professor Kanwar. COL addresses the many barriers to girls’ education effectively through innovative approaches to overcome the constraints of resources, environment and society. Professor Kanwar highlighted some examples of how open schools and distance learning allow learners to study at their own pace, place and time, saving on substantial opportunity costs for the families.


COL in collaboration with UNICEF implemented the Child Friendly School model in Nigeria. This model aims to improve the quality of learning by providing safety and security, sanitation, and child-centered teaching methodologies. A study of a COL-supported open school in Belize revealed that every dollar invested has resulted in $8 worth of perceived benefits to the girls. COL trains adolescent girls for livelihoods and focuses on sensitising the communities and families first.



The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. Hosted by the Government of Canada and headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning. COL empowers people through learning that leads to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation.

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