Brussels Summit for Global Education

Today the Global Partnership for Education held a summit in Brussels, gathering hundreds of global education leaders, ministers and representatives in a pledge to raise $3.5 billion in educational aid.

The summit follows the publication of a recent report by UNESCO, which shows a catastrophic decrease in financial aid to education over the past 7 years.

At today’s Second Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Campaign, nations and independent donors were urged to renew their contributions with aims of getting all children into education. Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl and education activist shot by the Taliban, was also in attendance.

As stated by UNESCO the purpose of the summit was to ensure “sufficient and sustainable financing for education in GPE partner countries and to ensure all children are in school and learning”.

According to the report, 58 million children are without education – a figure which has shown little improvement since 2007. However positive change is feasible and UNESCO have already pinpointed 17 countries which have ceased donations recent years, with hopes of reversing the trend.

An initial global education target was set at the turn of the millennium. The goal of the international community was for all children to have access to elementary school education by 2015.

UNESCO have stated that in order to make amends, more relevant curricula must be introduced, in addition to the abolition of school fees in developing countries and devoting increased attention to ethnic and linguistic minorities. Financial support must also be provided to families in need to continue to promote and extend every human beings right and opportunity to education.

In response to the halt in financial aid UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova said “We cannot meet this news with further inertia. On the contrary, we must sound the alarm and mobilize the political will to ensure that every child’s right to education is respected”.