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Podcast: More Funding Needed to Keep the Promise of Education

A girl attends class at Groupe Scolaire Bondoukou Est, a primary school in the town of Bondoukou, Côte d Ivoire, 2011

This podcast is part of the Changing the World for Girls discussions, a collaboration of the Beyond School Books podcast series and United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). In this series, you will find discussions on the lasting impact education has on girls, communities and nations around the world.

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, United States of America, 20 June 2014 – On 25 and 26 June, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will hold its second Replenishment Pledging Conference, with the goal of raising US$3.5 billion from donors to address global education issues in access, equity and learning, for 2015–2018. In addition, it asks developing country partners to increase their domestic expenditures on education to at least 20% of their overall budgets.

AUDIO: Listen now

In the lead-up to this event, Beyond School Books podcast moderator Mia Lobel talked to Julia Gillard, Chair of the Board of Directors of the GPE and former Prime Minister of Australia, who is a lifelong advocate for educational equality and equity.

Global consultations with governments, civil society, the private sector and youth have identified education as a central priority for the post-2015 development agenda. More than 1.5 million of the 2.2 million contributors to the United Nations My World Survey identified ‘a good education’ as their top priority. Yet, in 2011, 57 million children were out of school and another 250 million who were in school were still not able to read or write. Aid to education had fallen by 10 per cent since 2010.

“We promised the children of the world that they all get to go to primary school. To achieve that would require 26 billion dollars more funding annually, so that is a very serious step up in world expenditure, but obviously so worthwhile,” said Ms. Gillard.

She explained that, in the next four-year period, 2015–2018, the GPE will follow a new model in which funding is increasingly based on performance and eligibility for funds is based on education needs, addressing not only access but also the quality of education.

A good education is the ‘magic bullet’ for development. Yet, about 30 million primary school-aged girls were out of school in 2011, and two thirds of the world’s 774 million illiterate people are female. Ms. Gillard counted conflict, insecurity, cultural and economic factors as some of the key barriers to girls’ education.

“There are some great and effective programmes around the world that prove the benefits of education for a poor girl and change the outlook of the family. But, we need to be working in these countries if we need to make a difference, which is why the replenishment round for the global partnership is so important,” said Ms. Gillard.

To learn more about the GPE Replenishment Pledging Conference, please click here.

To help UNICEF and GPE increase financing for education, please spread our message via social media.



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