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Governments make record-setting pledges of $26 billion to fund education
an article by Education International (abridged)

Expectations were blown out of the water today in Brussels as historic financial commitments were made toward funding education in the world’s poorest countries that will help provide a quality education for millions of children.

Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, addresses a plenary session in Brussels, Belgium

click on photo to enlarge

At what could have been viewed as a melting pot of the education policy world, politics, civil society, and international organisations came together in the heart of Belgium June 25th and 26th for the second Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Replenishment Conference in hopes of hitting what now seems like a very modest US $3.5 billion post-2015 funding goal.

“This exceptional result is a vote of confidence in the power of education to lift the lives of millions of children, and is a tribute to far-sighted leadership in our partner countries - donors and developing country partners alike,” said Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair and former Australian prime minister. “No other organization has a partnership structure that has leveraged such substantial funds from developing countries.”

A vast majority of the record-high dollar amount came from 27 developing countries’ promise to increase spending on education by $26 billion over the next three years, a 25 percent jump from current levels. Another $2.1 billion came from the likes of European Union, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Education International gives teachers a starring role “Teachers are absolutely the key to quality education,” was the message Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen made loud and clear, erasing any doubts about the importance of teachers in creating quality education as Education International (EI) also made its pledge to the GPE.

In his pledge for EI, van Leeuwen made an annual commitment of 2 million euros from 2015 to 2018 to assist education unions worldwide, with a special emphasis on those in the GPE countries in order to:

· Establish social and professional dialogues with their public authorities;

· Raise professional standards and put a stop to de- professionalization trends;

· Target the barriers to access, such as child labour, child marriage, school fees, and the professional teacher shortage;

· Establish partnerships with civil society, international organisations, and the private sector to support the EFA targets, but expose those creating new barriers or feeding de- professionalization.

In addition, Education International also pledged to:

· Improve gender equality in education, including the achievement of gender parity in primary and lower secondary school;

· Improve learning outcomes, including increasing grade 3 literacy rates;

· Strengthen support for education development in fragile states, and in jurisdictions lagging behind in reaching the EFA targets;

· And as a member of the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action, provide additional support to teachers and their organisations in Haiti, Lebanon, Pakistan and Nigeria.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?,

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Latest reader comment:

Letter from Mohatma Gandhi to Maria Montessori.

To Madame Montessori

Even as you, out of your love for children, are endeavoring to teach children, through your numerous institution, the best that can be brought out of them, even so, I hope that it will be possible not only for the children of the wealthy and the well-to-do, but for the children of paupers to receive training of this nature. You have very truly remarked that if we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won't have the struggle, we won't have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.

Mohatma Gandhi, Young India, 19-11-''31

This report was posted on June 28, 2014.