Next Thursday, June 26, more than 600 global education leaders will come together in Brussels at what will be the single most important opportunity before 2015 – the beginning of a new, post-Millennium Development Goals agenda – to instill action, energy and resources to achieve the Global Partnership for Education’s strategic goals of access, equity, quality and systems strengthening.
The signals we have received so far from key participants are living up to the promise of the event. In addition to the European Commission, for example, important donors such Norway, Denmark, Sweden and others have already indicated that they intend to make notable increases in their commitments to the GPE Fund.
Also, 40 ministers of education from across the globe will attend the Replenishment Conference, raising hopes that developing country partners’ will announce substantial increases in their domestic education financing.
Julia Gillard, former prime Minister of Australia and Board Chair of the Global Partnership said: “The pledging conference is just the beginning of our four-year replenishment period, and we are very encouraged by the significant financial commitments we have already received from many of our partners. Our partners understand the seriousness of the situation, and we are looking forward to announcing first exciting news at the end of our conference on June 26.”
GPE replenishment conference will drive global education financing
The Global Partnership for Education’s Second Replenishment Pledging Conference (hosted by the European Union) will be a litmus test of how serious the international community is about its support for education. The conference is the beginning of the Global Partnership’s 2015 to 2018 replenishment cycle and, hence, will be an indicator of how much funding will be available for the Partnership’s education work in the next four years. With a deep pool of financing, more nations will have the opportunity to build and grow their education systems, enabling more children to get the education they deserve.
Beyond the financing, the conference will also raise awareness about the essential value of education to stabilize countries and pull them out of poverty. It will build the momentum necessary to preserve the education gains of the last decade and carry them into the post-Millennium Development Goals period starting at the end of next year.
Remembering the children without an education
“Our focus in Brussels will be on the 57 million children around the globe who have no access to schooling,” said Alice Albright, Chief-Executive-Officer at the Global Partnership for Education Secretariat, “and on the 250 million children who either drop out of school or are unable to read, write and do math by the time they reach grade four. Getting all of these children in school and learning remains an audacious goal that we must commit to in Brussels.”
What we’re asking our partners
Leading up to the Conference, the Global Partnership has urged donor partners to help reach a goal of US$3.5 billion for the 2015 to 2018 funding cycle to support 66 developing country partners.
Similarly, the Global Partnership has called on developing country partners to increase education financing toward an average of at least 20 percent of their national domestic expenditure, leveraging more than US$16 billion in domestic financing.
We also expect other partners – multilaterals, civil society groups and the private sector – to increase their own financing for the poorest countries’ education systems.
With US$3.5 billion from 2015 to 2018, the Global Partnership can achieve the following outcomes in 66 eligible countries:
- Support the annual school cost of 29 million children in primary and lower-secondary school; 23 million will be in fragile and conflict-affected states
- Reduce the number of children not completing primary education from 7.6 million to 4.8 million (2014 to 2018)
- Help more girls complete primary and secondary school: increase primary completion from 74 percent in 2014 to 84 percent in 2018; increase secondary completion from 44 percent to 54 percent between 2014-2018
- Improve learning: increase of core reading and numeracy skills by 25 percent (from 16 to 20 million children between 2014 to 2018)
- Reduce drop-out rates in primary and lower secondary school by 10 percent
- Reduce repetition rates in primary and lower-secondary school by 10 percent
For more on the Replenishment Conference, click here.