March 19th, 2015

Financing Education for All

Sustainable Development

NEW YORK – Of all of the investments needed to achieve sustainable development, none is more important than a quality education for every child. In a knowledge-based world economy, a good education is vital for finding decent work; achieving good health; building functioning communities; developing the skills to be a dependable parent; and growing up to be an engaged and responsible citizen.

Indeed, it is no surprise that the most brutish and violent groups in the world, such as Nigeria’s Boko Haram, attack education. And it was right on the mark to award the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for her brave advocacy of girls’ education.

When the world’s governments launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September, they will rightly put education for all children at the forefront, alongside ending extreme poverty, hunger, and death from preventable and treatable causes. Yet, while many poor countries have increased domestic financing for education, the international community has not yet done its part. Aid for education remains too low and too fragmented.

In advance of adopting the SDGs, at the Conference on Financing for Development in July, the world has the chance to put real resources behind the Education SDG. The three major types of partners convening in Addis Ababa – governments, philanthropists, and top companies – should pool resources to enable impoverished countries to scale up education, especially at the pre-K and secondary levels. The time has come to create a Global Fund for Education to ensure that even the world’s poorest children have the chance to receive a quality education at least through secondary school.

Read more at Project Syndicate.


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