Education

GPE to focus on global education funding gap at July 28 summit

Plans have been concluded for the hosting of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Summit, billed to take place between July 28 and 29 with focus on spotlighting the gap in education funding around the world.

According to GPE, the gap annually between what is spent and what is needed to be spent to achieve quality education for all stands at nearly $200 billion, a difference made bigger by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries’ economies.

It said that the goal of raising at least $5 billion over five years in donor pledges to spend on global education may be as the solution to the lack of investment in education would not come from aid.

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, who is co-hosting the Global Summit, is leading the calls for GPE partner countries to prioritise investing their money in educating the youths.

Besides, the organisation added that countries are predominantly going to find ways of helping themselves without much delay, saying domestic financing constitutes the lion’s share of resources to education in GPE partner countries, more than two-thirds of education resources from domestic public expenditure.

This, to GPE, has long been recognised by African leaders and that is why domestic financing has remained critical to the GPE’s ‘Raise Your Hand Campaign’.

In view of this, it was said that changing learning outcomes for African children would require local leadership that is more fundamental than investment.

Towards this end, the World Bank estimated that about one-third of education spending is lost to inefficiencies such as low levels of learning, high repetition rates, waste in procurement, and poor education workforce management in which for decades, progress was measured by inputs and not outcomes.

“Even where local leaders are galvanised by the need to use their existing education budgets effectively, systemic challenges in low infrastructure, capacity and resource environments are hard,” GPE noted.

Alluding to Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme initiated by the Edo State government, under which NewGlobe is supporting the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in delivering transformational change across more than 1,000 public primary schools.

While celebrating the third anniversary of EdoBEST recently, the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, the World Bank lauded the programme and described it as a great example for other states in Nigeria and even other countries to follow.

Meanwhile, in the case of EdoBEST, the governor noted that educational transformation became a top political priority because the breakdown of the education system had left young people “unemployable and desperate to find a future elsewhere.”

“Three years on, EdoBEST has achieved stunning results,” Governor Obaseki said, pointing out that children in EdoBEST schools now learn at about 70 per cent of the rate of their counterparts in Europe and Asia.

“That same review of the average situation in Nigerian schools measured them at about 30 per cent. It took countries such as Singapore and South Korea, among others, two to three decades to achieve such speed,” he added.

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