Every child deserves an education. Getting a good quality education helps children grow into healthier adults with better prospects in life, who can use their own voice and utilise their power for change. It can also provide stability to children who are displaced, contribute to gender equality, reduce the likelihood of conflict, and contribute to a healthy planet.
Ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to learn, and that countries everywhere have robust education systems are essential for creating a fairer world, free from poverty.
Education is a fundamental human right and is critical part of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, meaning countries have committed to ensuring an inclusive and quality education for all by 2030. Despite this, millions of children are still left behind, especially in lower- and middle-income countries. This past year, COVID-19 has interrupted school everywhere, with around 1.6 billion learners in 146 countries affected in 2020. But for some this disruption will become permanent, with 20 million marginalised children in lower- and middle-income countries likely never to return to formal education, with girls at a disproportionate risk.
The UK Government has said it is committed to ensuring all girls have the right to 12 years of quality education, and between 2015 and 2020, the Department for International Development supported at least 15.6 million children to gain a decent education.
Education needs more funding now, especially given the impacts of the pandemic. The UK Government knows this, and co-hosted the Global Education Summit in July to raise funds to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The GPE is the world’s leading organisation that supports governments in many poorer countries to fund and strengthen their education systems. As co-host, we expected the UK Government to make an ambitious pledge, but so far they have fallen short, by promising £170 million less than their fare share to cover a five year period. The recently announced cuts to UK aid also make it hard to see how the UK government can make a reality of its stated commitment to girls’ education. Read the RESULTS UK response to the Global Education Summit here.
Young people need to be at the centre of education campaigning. RESULTS UK is a member and hosting organisation of the Send my Friend to School coalition, who are supporting school children to get involved in the campaign, using theirs voices to effect change in global education. If you are a teacher or parent / guardian, join thousands of other schools and download the #EducationInterrupted campaign pack now!
RESULTS UK also supports parliamentarians who want to champion education, via the All Party-Parliamentary group on Education for All, and the International Parliamentary Network on Education (IPNEd.)