On Thursday, April 15, members of parliament from across European donor countries joined forces in support of a fully funded Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
At a virtual roundtable convened by the International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd), parliamentarians from across Europe discussed the vital role of GPE in leveraging more and better financing for education in lower-income countries and the importance of a fully funded GPE.
Opening the roundtable, Hon. Giulio Centemero, IPNEd Regional Representative for Europe, outlined why GPE’s upcoming replenishment will be a test of the commitment of European governments to support the education of children living in lower-income countries:
“We should be proud that as previous donors to GPE, our countries have played a vital role in delivering quality education to children living in the world’s poorest countries. The scale of the global education emergency now warrants a redoubling of that commitment”.
The parliamentarians also heard first-hand accounts of how GPE supports governments in lower-income countries to help ensure that every child receives a quality education.
Mamadou Talla, Minister of National Education of Senegal, set out how his ministry has worked with GPE to transform education in Senegal:
“Senegal has been a partner of GPE since 2006. This cooperation has enabled us to enroll over a million additional children in school. The share of our budget directed to education has always been superior to 20%. This is partly thanks to the support of GPE”.
Minister Talla said that despite the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, with the support and investment of a fully funded GPE, Senegal will be able to continue to accelerate educational progress:
“As elsewhere, Senegal has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Thanks to support of GPE we reaffirm our commitment to increase our expenditure directed towards education. A contribution of over $5 billion to GPE will have a significant impact in Senegal and other low-income countries.”
Alice Albright, GPE’s CEO, told MPs “Tens of millions of children are at risk of dropping out of school forever, especially girls. We are facing the worst education crisis the world has ever seen. All the progress that has been made on learning and enrollment is completely at risk”.
“Parliamentarians have played an extraordinary role in making the case for education and GPE. Now is the time to ramp up the pressure on decision makers in government. Budget decisions are being made now”.