German civil society came together last week for a special event in the dome of the German parliament (Bundestag) to raise awareness of the global education crisis and call on the German government to increase funding to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Global Citizen, one of GPE’s civil society partners and organizer of the event, wanted to make sure that Germany was aware of GPE’s upcoming Financing Conference in February 2018 and ready to step up its leadership on global education. With a successful replenishment at the conference, the goal is to reach 870 million children in 89 countries.
GPE is grateful to Global Citizen for organizing the event supported by the Global Campaign for Education, ONE, Save the Children, Oxfam, Plan International, Christoffel Blind Mission and UNICEF. The event sent a strong signal in support of global education and called on the German government to step up its funding for basic education at the upcoming GPE Financing Conference in Dakar.
German politicians, members of parliament, civil society, artists and activists discussed the importance of education for sustainable development, the challenges that hinder progress and the financing gap that needs to be addressed to ensure all children across the world can go to school and learn. Eurovision winner Lena Meyer-Landrut addressed the crowd with a passionate speech saying that education means a chance to realize your dreams. German singer Namika expressed her support by singing her hit “Lieblingsmensch” and several other songs.
Claudia Roth, Vice President of the Bundestag and patron of the event, highlighted that education is a basic good, a prerequisite for a more peaceful future and equitable sustainable development and that Germany needs to be much more involved in inclusive primary education. “At the GPE financing conference in Dakar, Germany needs to send a clear message for education that leaves no one behind. And for this, Germany needs to give significantly more money,” Roth said.
Alice Albright, CEO of GPE, discussed the importance of education and the role of GPE on a panel with the French Ambassador to Germany, Anne-Marie Descôtes, and the Senegalese Ambassador to Germany, Momar Gueye. France and Senegal are the co-hosts of the upcoming GPE conference on February 1-2, 2018 in Dakar.
“Education is peace. It starts in primary school,” said Ms. Descotes.
“Thanks to the program put in place with the help of GPE, we have gender parity in schools,” said Mr. Gueye.
The second panel with Katja Dörner (member of Parliament, Green Party), Sonja Steffen (member of Parliament, Social Democrats) and Marion Lieser, CEO of Oxfam Germany and representative of the Global Campaign for Education, discussed Germany’s role in financing basic education in developing countries. Both panels were moderated by Raul Krauthausen, a well-known social and disability rights activist.
Below are some of the social media messages shared about the event:
Volle Unterstützung für bedeutende Initiative @GPforEducation! #FundEducation— Anne-Marie Descôtes (@amdescotes) 12 décembre 2017
Freude über Wiedersehen mit @AliceAlbright gestern in Berlin, der ich für ihr unermüdliches Engagement danke. pic.twitter.com/7TyYl3GGGQ
Bildung für alle! Partners joined together today in Germany to call on leaders to #FundEducation. Thank you @GlblCtznDe @namikamusik @amdescotes @Lenas_view @PlanGermany @UNICEFgermany @ONEDeutschland @Oxfam_DE @stc_de pic.twitter.com/4YpydFUS05— GPE (@GPforEducation) 11 décembre 2017
Ich freue mich, heute Abend bei #Unplugged im #Bundestag zu sein. Zusammen mit den Initiatoren setze mich dafür ein, dass Deutschland @GPforEducation unterstützt und Kinder weltweit zur Schule gehen können. #FundEducation pic.twitter.com/rBGPtKdLNf— Raul Krauthausen (@raulde) 11 décembre 2017
Thank you for the warm welcome to Berlin @amdescotes, great to see you again. Together, France and Germany can help close the financial gap that is leaving millions of children without a quality education. #FundEducation #ShapeTheFuture pic.twitter.com/R3SZVoHBqY— Alice Albright (@AliceAlbright) 11 décembre 2017