Information by Country

Global Section: Press releases

Global Campaign for Education urges donors to give resources not rhetoric

©Global Campaign for Education
16 March 2007 - Activists from hundreds of organizations around the world, united under the banner ‘Global Campaign for Education’ (GCE) today welcomed Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development’s announcement of an exceptional high-level donor conference on education in Brussels this spring.  Michel used the informal meeting of EU development ministers in Bonn to announce ‘Keeping Our Promises in Education’ which he will convene along with, the World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, and UK Chancellor Gordon Brown on May 2nd.

Campaigners say the event offers the best opportunity in five years for rich countries to cast aside the remaining obstacles to the achievement of Education for All, including making real and substantial financial commitments to support countries’ education plans.  At the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar, governments agreed to a range of targets to give every child and adult a fair chance at a decent education by 2015. GCE therefore looks forward to top-level participation in the donor conference to deliver a breakthrough, including, crucially, from the EU Presidency and G8 Host, Germany, say spokespeople.

We see this as a key moment for achieving the long-awaited resolution of an education crisis that leaves 80 million children out of school and almost a billion adults unable to read and write. Since 1999 we have been waiting for world leaders to pledge and disperse serious money to end this global scandal. With just fifty days between now and the donor conference, campaigners will be calling on their governments to make 2nd May a remarkable day for future generations. 
- Kailash Satyarthi, President of the Global Campaign for Education and Global March against Child Labour

Education supporters noted that progress on May 2nd is crucial, as the next two years are decisive in reaching Education for All by 2015, the targets agreed by world leaders.  For example, to meet the goal of universal primary completion by 2015, all children need to start school by 2009.

Imagine what a different world we would live in if all children could complete school; if the millions or children currently left waiting at the school gates, were taught and inspired by teachers that fed their dreams and nurtured their intelligence. We could give young people this chance.  The chance to take part in democracy, to protect their family from illness, to communicate in times of conflict, to be future citizens of the world and lead the world out of extreme poverty. 
- Rasheda Choudhury, Director, Campaign for Popular Education, Bangladesh

Recent research findings show that progress is possible; since 2000 the number of children out of school has gone down from over 100 million to 80 million, and the gender gap in education is closing. Aid to education – especially in poorer countries – is inching up, but much more needs to be done. Seven years since the World Education Forum in Dakar the resources required have not been committed. The Global Campaign for Education estimates at least $12 billion per year extra will be needed to achieve EFA. This is equivalent to just 0.1 per cent of global military expenditure annually. 

GCE’s rallying cry for 2007 is ‘JOIN UP Education Rights Now’. The theme was inspired by Nelson Mandela's words to young GCE campaigners in April 2006: "You might think that you are powerless, but if all the world's children join together, they can be more powerful than any government".  In 120 countries, including the world’s richest nations, campaigners will be coming together to form the world’s longest chain to remind the powerful of their promises. Activities will intensify during GCE’s Global Action Week, 23rd – 29th April, when supporters will be taking the chance to maximize pressure ahead of the May 2nd meeting .The message they will be sending to politicians is  – Do something great!  Give everyone an education!

We’re relieved that world leaders have not forgotten the promises they made in Dakar seven years ago, but we don’t need another talking shop on education; let us see a new chapter of actions, not words. 
- Gorgui Sow, Co-ordinator African Network Campaigns on Education For All

Notes to Editors:
Alex Kent
0ffice +27 11 447 4111 or Mobile +27 76 428 5390

Lucia Fry
Office +44 20 7651 7561 or Mobile +44 7976 908006
The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a movement to end the worldwide crisis in education. GCE's mission is to make sure that governments act now to deliver the right of every girl, boy, woman and man to a free, quality education.   Members include major international aid agencies and union federations, as well as national networks or coalitions for the right to education in about 120 countries.  Supporters lobby their legislators and governments, raise public awareness and put pressure on international institutions like the World Bank. GCE has been campaigning for education since 1999.
Education is a right:
• It was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989

Education for All has been promised time and time again:
• In 1990 and in 2000 the Education for All goals were agreed by world leaders.  The 2000 World Education Forum guaranteed the right of all adults and children to be educated and set out six goals addressing the needs of pre-school and school-aged children, youth and adults to be achieved by 2015.
• The Millennium Development Goals set targets for all children to complete primary school and for ensuring that girls have an equal right to boys 

Global Campaign for Education's demands of donor governments in 2007:
• Set clear annual targets to increase aid – increasing ODA to 0.56% of GNI by 2010 and to 0.7% GNI by 2015.
• Meet their fair share of the $12 billion annual financing gap for basic education
• Increase the amount of aid going to basic education in the poorest countries and ensure aid is targeted where it is most needed using the Education for All Fast Track Initiative.
• Publicly commit to ensuring that aid will be available over a 5-10 year period, to allow countries to train and employ teachers.
• Increase commitments to the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund, such that the anticipated financing requirement of $1.1 billion for eligible countries is fully met by the end of 2007.

World military expenditure was $1118 billion in 2005, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute



email icon Email this article

printer icon Printer Friendly