Paris, July 5, 2019 - The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) welcomes the important commitment made by G7 education and international development ministers to combat inequalities in education while recognizing education as a key driver for sustainable and gender responsive solutions.
The ministers’ joint communique calls for transformational changes – with an emphasis on strengthening education systems, which is at the core of GPE’s work. The declaration notes that overcoming challenges requires “strengthening the governance of education systems; recruiting, training and upskilling teachers; striving to help support decent working conditions; and fostering individual continuous professional development.”
The G7 ministers’ commitment to “increase efforts to address education sector financing gaps for basic education, through our development financing and through dialogue on domestic financing with partner countries, targeting populations in situations of vulnerability, including those facing crisis contexts and protracted conflict” will be key to improve the pace of progress for millions of children over the next years.
Stressing the utmost importance of gender equality, the G7 ministers express their strong commitment “to addressing and eliminating gender biases, inequality, stereotypes and gender discrimination” and support “girls’ access to quality, inclusive and gender-responsive education, mentoring, teacher training and socio-professional inclusion.”
We know that the single most important determinant of children’s learning is the quality of the teacher and welcome the G7’s recognition of the need for qualified teachers and the ministers' commitment to “developing and supporting qualified female teachers in the classroom and in leadership positions.“
Furthermore, the decision to take on “the agenda to end violence in schools and other educational and learning institutions” will be crucial to ensuring girls are safe in and on their way to school.
GPE is especially pleased that the G7 ministers adopted the Gender at the Centre Initiative, highlighting the centrality of gender equality and girls’ education for sustainable development. Developed with the French government by GPE and the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI), the initiative supports the mainstreaming of gender equality in education planning, implementation and monitoring in developing countries. It will direct more financial and technical resources to countries that demonstrate a commitment to gender equality.
The G7 ministers’ call for greater access to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in developing countries is crucial to ensure young people, and particularly women, can “maximize their productive capabilities, fostering their empowerment, inclusion and economic integration” and are prepared with the right skills for the job market of the 21st century.
Recognizing the significant and persistent challenges facing education in Africa’s Sahel countries –all of which are GPE partner countries - the G7 ministers commit to “strengthening resilience in Sahel countries by encouraging partner countries’ governments and other donors to join a collective effort in strengthening education systems and increasing financial support to education, including basic education, and TVET.”
GPE appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the important ministerial meetings over the past two days, the G7 France - UNESCO International Conference on Innovating for Girls’ and Women Empowerment through Education and the C7 gathering of civil society organizations.
We look forward to high-level commitments and more tangible progress being made at the G7 leaders’ summit on August 26-28, 2019 to accelerate support for the hundreds of millions of children who are currently not in school and millions more who are in school but not learning.