On the closing of the Global Action Week for Education, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) jointly convened ‘Raise Your Hand for More and Better Education Financing,’ a global dialogue with national, regional and international thought leaders.
The event publicly made the case for why we need to prioritize, protect and increase domestic finance for education and how a fully funded GPE will help unlock system transformations in its partner countries. It also marks a week of action by civil society calling on states and the international community to fulfill their obligations to secure and deliver sustainable transformative education financing in the lead up to the Global Education Summit: Financing GPE 2021-2025, on 28-29 July.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest disruption to education the world has ever seen. The economic impact of the pandemic is straining national economies and budgets, risking decades of education progress. It is exacerbating existing inequalities for the most vulnerable and putting a generation at risk. There has been lost classroom time and lost learning.
Girls, refugee children, internally displaced children, and children with disabilities (including learning disabilities) experienced great challenges in accessing and benefitting from remote learning. Leaving education and its financing out of pandemic responses and recovery will be devastating to countries and will result in deep, sweeping and long-lasting inequalities.
Recalling the Incheon Declaration, overcoming the crisis is only possible if all countries allocate efficiently at least 4 - 6% of gross domestic product and at least 15 - 20% of total public expenditure to education and if donor countries allocate at least 0.7% of gross national income in official development assistance to developing countries. These global benchmarks are needed now more than ever.
GCE and GPE recognize that domestic financing is the most significant, sustainable source of financing for the education sector and that is why we call on states to prioritize and protect domestic finance to pre-COVID levels —at least the global benchmark of 20% of total public expenditure — so we leave no child behind.
We are delighted that President Uhuru Kenyatta, as a co-host of the GPE Financing Campaign, will drive a collective political statement, inviting Heads of State and governments from GPE partner countries to commit to prioritize, protect and increase domestic finance.
GCE also endorses the other equally important GPE campaign goal to secure at least $5 billion in 5-year donor pledges to support countries transform their education systems, and calls on donors to pledge generously to enable GPE to support countries to build back better, more equal and more resilient education systems.
We emphasize how much this catalytic funding is needed to ensure the right to education for all. It is imperative that the Global Education Summit in July 2021 ensures a fully funded GPE so that, through quality education, we can continue to ensure a just and egalitarian world.
The pandemic has shown the importance of strengthening public systems and social sector spending, including education. We therefore recognize the need to engage in strategic dialogue with ministries of Finance and support strong communication between Finance and Education ministries to improve the volume, equity and efficiency of public financing for education.
The GPE Case for Investment Raise your Hand and the GCE One Billion Voices Campaign are bold and ambitious advocacy initiatives, focused on ensuring that education systems have the necessary resources for the COVID-19 recovery, including having education included in fiscal stimulus packages.
We are confident that the complementarity of current efforts will inspire many other actors to come together in global solidarity to make the change so that no child is left behind.
Financing education will unlock the future of millions of children and contribute in early and long-term recovery from the pandemic. Building people and societal resilience in any crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, means financing stronger public education systems.
GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis by mobilizing partners and funds to support lower-income countries to transform their education systems and GCE is the largest civil society movement working to end exclusion in education.
This statement was also posted by GCE.