Richard Ginika Izuora
The United Nations, EU, has made case for expanded access to educate young boys and girls, as it declared that education paves the way for solving many of today’s global challenges.
Speaking on the theme, Transforming Education Summit – the global moment of truth
Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, noted that education remains the most powerful and transformative tool required to empower girls and boys with hope, skills and opportunity for their future, which ultimately paves the way for solving many of today’s global challenges.
Both envoys, noted however, that in many parts, poverty and inequality still have a major influence over school attendance and learning achievement, adding that right across the world, education systems are struggling to equip learners with the values, skills and knowledge needed to thrive in our rapidly changing world.
They observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a pre-existing crisis and the global funding gap for education has increased significantly.
“Even before the pandemic, governments were spending less than half of the needed sum on education. Since then, two in three governments have cut their education budgets while some international donors have announced their intention to reduce aid to education.” they said.
They noted that collective action on future-oriented learning and education financing is urgent, stressing, “if we want to recover pandemic-related learning losses and ensure that children and young people everywhere are able to access their right to education as enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
They shared same opinion that investing in education has a transformative impact across the Sustainable Development Goals, as “It advances gender equality: educated girls are more likely to participate in the decisions that most affect them, to live longer, healthier lives, and to earn higher incomes. It makes a major contribution to national development: every euro spent on education can generate 10–15 euros in economic growth. And by nurturing informed, empowered citizens, it can help countries to tackle major challenges such as climate change, social breakdown, conflict, gender-based violence and more.”
The European Union is significantly increasing its investment in education in partner countries.
The EU will dedicate more than 10 per cent of its international partnerships budget, representing over 6 billion euros, towards global education.
Now we need others to do likewise.
The UN Secretary-General is also calling on all government leaders and all actors, including private sector and civil society, as part of a global mobilisation, to make concrete commitments to increase funding for education, from all sources.
At the Transforming Education Summit, the representatives of all countries and partners face a moment of truth: now is the time to collectively fill the investment gap to tackle the global education crisis.
They say that now is the time to invest in learning recovering and help put the SDGs back on track, thereby sowing the seeds for transformation of our education systems, so that education better prepares learners to contribute to a more inclusive, peaceful, sustainable and just future, leaving no one behind.
They challenged leaders that the upcoming UN Summit on Transforming Education, offers fresh opportunity to take decisive action.
The United Nations and the European Union now call on all member states to deliver much-needed commitments to ensure that all girls and boys can access, enjoy and benefit from a meaningful, modern, high-quality education as their rights and our collective futures depend on it.