Girls Education and Language of Instruction: An Extended Policy Brief

Lizzi O. Milligan (Editor), Laela Adamson (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


The aspiration to ensure that girls can access, continue in, and benefit from, education is a global priority and part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, though largely separately from the consideration of challenges faced by girls in education, global institutions are increasingly taking a public stance on the importance of language-of-instruction (LoI) policy for inclusive, quality education, asserting that learners should be taught using a language they understand. With evidence from Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Egypt, this policy brief demonstrates that these two issues cannot continue to be considered separately. Rather, LoI must be considered as a policy priority if we are to enable all girls to access and progress in quality, equitable education.

Although the LoI policies differ across the countries included in this policy brief, the introduction of an unfamiliar LoI is consistently shown to be a barrier to learning. This is supported by a broad evidence base from across Sub-Saharan Africa, where the World Bank have estimated that as many as 80% of learners do not have access to learning in a language they know best.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Connecting knowledge(s) about language, learning and social justice in education (ES/W005484/1)
Exploring the opportunities for learning justice: a case study of girls' educational experiences in English medium Rwandan basic education (ES/S001972/1)


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