Parliamentarians join forces in support of more and better financing for education

As part of its efforts to build support for more and better financing for education, the International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd) gathered parliamentarians from both GPE donors and partner countries through an online high-level roundtable to call their governments to prioritize, protect and grow financing for education. Here are the main takeaways of the event.

June 07, 2021 by IPNED Secretariat
|
5 minutes read
|
Screenshot of the participants at the online high-level roundtable.
Screenshot of the participants at the online high-level roundtable.

On Thursday, June 3, almost 100 members of parliament from around the world raised their hands in support of GPE’s financing campaign.

At an online high-level roundtable convened by the International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd), parliamentarians from both GPE donors and partner countries called on their governments to prioritize, protect and grow financing for education.

Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, opened the event.

Ms. Gillard also issued an invitation to GPE partner countries to pledge at the summit to increase their expenditure on education towards the 20% expenditure benchmark and beyond.

“Those pledges are always important, but they are even more valuable at this time when economies are under pressure and the temptation to roll back expenditure on services like education is right in front of leaders of nations”.

The importance of domestic financing as the most significant and sustainable source of education financing was echoed by the other speakers.

“I want to call on all members of parliamentarians to really engage their governments to invest more in education and ensure that they are committed to increasing domestic financing for education”.

David Moina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education of Sierra Leone

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Chair of ActionAid International, also encouraged all GPE partner countries to endorse the Call to Action on education financing issued by President Kenyatta in advance of the Global Education Summit in July.

MPs were also joined by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown.

“We must not only transform how we deliver education but how we finance it, to ensure that we reach those furthest behind”, he told MPs.

“The G7 and G20 and the international community must ensure that countries who want to spend on education can do so, free of the burden of unpayable debts that are crippling them today. We must also ensure that UNESCO, UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education in its replenishment and Education Cannot Wait are fully funded,” said Mr Brown.

Parliamentarians also heard directly from young people from Nepal and Sierra Leone.

“How many children and youth should have their bright futures ruined just because the government is not able to respond to the learning challenges during COVID?” asked Shradha Koirala, a GPE youth leader from Nepal.

Shradha Koirala, a GPE youth leader from Nepal, during an intervention the event.
Shradha Koirala, a GPE youth leader from Nepal, during an intervention the event.

“Young people want a commitment from world leaders to ensure that there are sufficient resources for providing quality education for all the children across the globe”.

Following these remarks the parliamentarians spoke about the challenges the education sector faces in their countries and what they are doing in response.

Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education in the National Assembly of Nigeria, opened the discussion:

“During the pandemic, the Federal Government announced a 54% reduction in the education budget. The situation has now deteriorated further with the growing insecurity. If we are going to get out of this, then the Nigerian government will have to be seriously encouraged to spend money not just on teachers but on school infrastructure”.

“Parliamentarians in Bangladesh are identifying some critical challenges in our education system that we are now facing due to COVID-19. COVID poses the additional burden of huge additional financing for online education. We have to reprioritize our budget. We cannot compromise the need in the education sector”, shared Dr Shirin Sharim Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh.

Parliamentarians from Kenya and the United Kingdom, the co-hosts of GPE’s Global Education Summit, shared their ambitions for the summit.

Harriett Baldwin MP, a member of the UK Parliament and IPNEd co-chair said, “I am delighted that the governments of the United Kingdom and Kenya have agreed to host the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education. This is an opportunity for the world to show how much investing in children’s education means to them”.

“My call to the G7 Summit and the Global Education Summit is to ensure that financing really benefits children with disabilities and especially girls with disabilities”.

Hon Dennitah Ghati, MP for Persons with Disabilities in the Parliament of Kenya

Parliamentarians from Canada, Colombia, The Gambia and Lebanon also contributed to the discussion, as well as Zetta Makri, the Greek Deputy Minister for Education.

The discussion was moderated by Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly, IPNEd Executive Director, who co-chaired the event alongside Ms Baldwin and MNA Menhaz Akber Aziz, a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and IPNEd Regional Representative for Asia.

The parliamentarians left the meeting with a powerful call to action from Julia Gillard: “When parliamentarians rally and rally in large numbers, they have impact and they make a difference.

In the critical weeks that remain we need your support, your engagement, you going to your government and putting to them the case for education and for making ambitious pledges at the end of the July”.

Julia Gillard, GPE Board chair, during the her intervention at the event.
Julia Gillard, GPE Board chair, during the her intervention at the event.

IPNEd is continuing its work to build support for more and better financing for education.

The Network has produced a briefing for developing country members of parliaments setting out what they can do to encourage their government to endorse President Kenyatta's Call to Action and make a pledge at the Global Education Summit.

The briefing, which is also available in French and Spanish, is being widely shared across the Network and through civil society.

IPNEd has also published country specific briefings for MPs from donor countries on the case for their government to invest ambitiously in GPE’s replenishment. The Network convened parliamentarians in Europe and the Asia-Pacific to discuss the vital importance of a fully funded GPE, with many MPs taking subsequent action in support of GPE’s financing campaign.

For more information about the Network’s work on education financing, please visit https://www.ipned.org/global-partnership-for-education-replenishment or email info@ipned.org.

Post a comment or
Financing 2025, Governance

Latest blogs

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • Global and entity tokens are replaced with their values. Browse available tokens.
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.