The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Menlo Park, Calif.-based William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have announced plans to commit $60 million to increase literacy rates and improve primary and secondary education in some South Asian and sub-Saharan countries.
Under the initiative, the Gates Foundation will give the Hewlett Foundation at least $40 million over three years for the project. The Hewlett Foundation will commit the remaining $20 million to the work.
The Hewlett Foundation will design the project’s strategy, and grant the funds to organizations working to improve literacy rates, train teachers, revamp academic curricula, reduce student-dropout rates, and increase parent involvement, said Lynn Murphy, a senior fellow at the California foundation.
“This leverages the resources of both foundations with the aim of addressing a key barrier facing the poor—lack of genuine educational opportunities,” Paul Brest, the Hewlett Foundation’s president, said in a statement.
“It’s difficult to reduce poverty, improve health, or raise the status of women … without also extending to the poor access to a quality education.”
A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week