“If global leaders invested more in education they could help reduce poverty, create more sustainable livelihoods, improve long-term health benefits, ensure greater gender equality, and promote democratic governance: investment in education now can help to fund a better future tomorrow.”
Global Campaign for Education: Funding the Future report 2014
Extensive research by the UN’s High Level Panel and Sustainable Develop Solutions Network has found that education is instrumental in expediting progress in solving issues such as gender inequality, healthcare and agriculture in developing countries.
Despite the evidence, there are still 57 million children out of primary education globally and a further 69 million out of secondary education. This is a serious issue but equal gravitas must be given to the fact that there are enormous financing gaps for global education, to the tune of $4billion.
Demand from developing countries is vastly outstripping supply from the GCE, this is due, in part, to the fact that member countries of the GPE are not pledging significant donations to global education; for example, the Netherlands has pulled their funding completely. This has provoked the GPE to hold a ‘funding replenishment’ on June 26th 2014 in Brussels. The intention is that cumulatively, the GPE will contribute $1billion p.a. from 2015-2018, providing a total of $4billion for global education. The GPE has claimed that assuming the predicted level of replenishment is achieved, an ‘ambitious’ target of 92% enrolment in primary education can be reached, meaning an extra 17 million children enrolled in basic, primary education.
However, the weight is not solely on the shoulders of the GPE, there is also the call for developing countries to dedicate more of their budget to education, 20% to be precise, with at least 10% on primary education or a higher figure where necessary. This is a crucial development which will see developing countries engaging with their educational issues and creating change in a way that foreign aid could never achieve. Since the MDG’s were created, there has been increased average spending of 6% on education across all Sub-Saharan countries so we can see developing countries are heading in the right direction.
Lastly, there is a hope that the private sector will show greater dedication to the issue of global education. One suggestion has been that multinationals pay their ‘fair share’ of tax in developing countries where they operate. Making multinationals more accountable through taxation will produce steadier, more regular income within developing countries, again producing change and internal development that international aid cannot achieve.
These are all logical and necessary steps toward funding global education, the GPE replenishment meeting in Brussels on June 26th will set the precedent for global education funding post-2015.