Re: Protecting the prioritization of global education within the G20
Congratulations on taking on the Presidency of the G20 in 2022. We commend the Government of Indonesia for galvanizing global leadership and cooperation on delivering a sustainable, inclusive, and adaptive recovery from COVID-19. As the world looks to the G20 for comprehensive action on this agenda, it must include the education crisis. The G20 has become an influential driving force in global financial policy and the undersigned organizations call on you to ensure education financing is included in this year’s G20 Leaders’ Declaration - so that we can chart a better future for all.
Upheavals in the global economy means we face stagnant or declining aid investments and domestic financing cuts to education. The G20 can and must play a critical convening role across higher, middle and low-income countries in accelerating global education’s recovery, including protecting critical financing. Yet, we are concerned global education, particularly girls’ education, could be overlooked as a core solution to achieving the G20’s broader ambitions.
Education is the largest and longest running crisis and shows no signs of abating without urgent action. As you know too well from the impact of the pandemic on your own school system, education is under severe threat, exacerbated by climate change, conflict, fuel and food insecurity, underlying poverty, and related displacement. Currently, there are over 222 million children living in these contexts whose education is at risk.
There is clearly a legal and moral and social imperative for every child to be in school and learning, as is their right. But there is also an economic and social imperative. Investing in resilient, gender transformative, and inclusive education systems – from pre-primary through to adult education - is critical to accelerate COVID-19 recovery, build human capital and human development, and is proven to create the foundations for shared prosperity and sustainable growth. This will not just happen; it must be a conscious choice G20 leaders take, today.
Therefore, harnessing the momentum of the UN Transforming Education Summit; the Call to Action on Financing Education ; recalling the Heads of State Declaration on Education Finance, the Paris Declaration, Ministerial Communique on Transforming Education and its Financing; the 7th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) Marrakech Framework for Action; and building on a precedent of G20 commitment to global education dating back to 2017, the undersigned are calling on G20 leaders to support the agendas laid out in these calls to action and to make an explicit reference to prioritizing, protecting, and increasing education financing (both Official Development Assistance and domestic budgets) within the Leaders’ Declaration, including ensuring global funds and initiatives are fully funded.
Our world needs upskilled youth and adults – the next engineers, thinkers, farmers, doctors, innovators, entrepreneurs - to tackle the threats to our common existence, whether conflict, climate, forced displacement or health-induced. If we don’t transform education today, protect education financing, and embark on transformative actions, including preserving the right to education, we will be looking at a tomorrow replete with ever more challenges.
We sincerely hope that, as Indonesia drives forward its priorities within the upcoming G20 negotiations, we can rely on your support to help defend the right of all to a quality education.
With hope and gratitude,
Ministers of Education and other representatives on the Board of the Global Partnership for Education