GAWE 2021 report

Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2021 report

This year’s Global Action Week for Education focused on issues of education financing, aligned with the policy framing of the One Billion Voices campaign. This report sets out some of key activities, outputs and assets that were developed and delivered by the GCE movement during GAWE 2021. The information was collated by the GCE Campaign Manager who notes there is almost certainly other GAWE work undertaken by the movement but this might not have been shared with the Secretariat.


GCE led activities and events

Photo competitionIn March 2021the Global Campaign for Education launched a photo-story competition. It had been a year since schools first closed because of COVID- 19. In that year over 1 billion people’s education has been impacted around the world. The Photo-story competition was developed as an opportunity to encourage people from around the world to document and speak up about the impact of COVID- 19 on education. After entries from around the world, the winners were announced on the first day of the Global Action Week for Education 2021.

Tweet chat

On April 29, Global Campaign for Education-US and the Global Campaign for Education Secretariat hosted a joint Twitter Chat, #GAWEChat, which addressed themes of equity and inclusion in education, pandemic recovery to education, and education financing. Partners including the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), Elimu Yetu Coalition, Education Cannot Wait, East African Center for Human Rights (EACHRights), World Vision Kenya, Childhood Education International, AMPLIFY Girls, ONE Campaign, Global Partnership for Education, and Girl Up, among others, who all joined in to share resources and voice commitment to education for all.

Instagram takeover

On April 30, Global Campaign for Education-US and the Global Campaign for Education Secretariat closed out the 2021 Global Action Week for Education with an Instagram Takeover that featured youth, students, and teachers from around the world detailing the impact of COVID-19 on their education, and urging their leaders to take action in prioritising education. View these powerful messages here.

Africa domestic financing new report

As part of GAWE the GCE Secretariat, in partnership with ANCEFA and supported by GIZ, launched a new report: “How Africa can lead on education in a post-COVID world”. The report was launched as the centre point of the ANCEFA policy dialogue event and attracted more than 1000 viewers!

Global event: ‘Raise Your Hand for More and Better Financing”

Friday, April 30 marked the global culmination day, with a high-level policy dialogue on mobilising education financing, in partnership with the Global Partnership for Education and GCE. This included contributions from the GCE board (Nafisa Baboo), the CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, the Deputy Secretary General of EI and a powerful cohort of youth speakers. The event was watched by nearly 500 people through a range of platforms. View event recording.

Partnership activities

The Lost Potential tracker

The Lost Potential Tracker – created by ONE and launched on the first day of GAWE – is an interactive tool designed to measure the growing scale of the global learning crisis. We’re hoping to sound the alarm on the number of children at risk of not having the basic literacy skills expected of a 10-year-old, a critical milestone where a child should transition from learning to read to reading to learn. For the first time ever, the Lost Potential Tracker will enable education advocates, experts and the public to keep a running tab, in real time, of the increasing number of children unable to read and understand a simple sentence at age 10. In fact, our calculations show that as of Monday, April 26, a shocking 393 million children have failed to gain the basic literacy skills at age 10 since world leaders adopted the SDGs in 2015.

Raise Your Hand partnership action with One Billion Voices branding

GCE partnered with the Global Partnership for Education on an exciting campaign action for GAWE. People were called to head to ‘create your own hand’ with a One Billion Voices logo on it, which then join the ongoing collection of ‘hands’ in the run up to the Global Education Summit.

GCE and GPE published a joint statement for more and better financing

The GCE-GOE replenishment is available here.

Education International blogs

The following blogs were produced during this period:

UNGEI GAWE related event

UNGEI Launched a video “Girls with disabilities have an equal right to education” as part of GAWE.

Regional and National Campaign Activity


ASPBAE hosted an Asian regional policy dialogue on Monday, April 26. The speakers included:

  • Dr Antonio Guterrez, Vice Minister, Timor Lester,
  • Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Philippines
  • Ms Margarita Focas Licht, GPE
  • Ms Nani Zulminani, ASPBAE’s President

The final number of pax on the Zoom meeting was 106. The Facebook live-stream visit was over 1.3k. This is the link to the livestream.

  • During GAWE ASPBAE launch a new report based on Youth-led action research on the impact of COVID19 on marginalized youth in Asia.


Power political call to action published and supported by extensive campaign and communications activities. The declaration focused on financing to ensure all girls’ have access to free, quality and safe education and it was shared widely online and in certain communities.


The Pakistan coalition launched a targeted briefing on tax justice and called for an increase in domestic financing for education. The work included workshops and dialogues to discuss ways to direct financing towards girls’ education.


  • Panel /Inaugural Discussion: A discussion program on the right to education and the role of political parties regarding it will be organized in the presence of leaders of various political parties. This will be the inauguration program of the week focusing on the need of this GAWE 2021 campaign “Improved and better investment for education.”
  • Stand-up comedy and Lok Dohori Program
  • Citizen’s Voices for Right to Education: Compilation of inclusive voices from all the seven provinces of Nepal, from Dalit, marginalized, youths, women, teachers, students as well as parents. The videos will be posted in the social media of NCE Nepal throughout the month.
  • Cartoon and Photo Exhibition: Cartoons highlighting the current educational system of Nepal will be drawn by the cartoonists and photos on public education situation will be taken by photographer.
  • Discourse Program on Accountability and Investment in Education


ACEA organised a regional policy dialogue on the Arab coalition’s debt campaign on Tuesday, April 27. Activities were undertaken across all 10 national coalitions in the Arab region, aligned with the focus on debt and education financing, as per the below:


A statement on education financing, a video on financing and debt and the dissemination of messages.


A statement on education financing, a video on financing and debt and the dissemination of messages.


A workshop and outcome statement on education financing, a video on financing and debt and the dissemination of messages.


A meeting to launch study on debt, statement on financing, short video and dissemination of advocacy messages


Workshop on financing and disseminate advocacy messages Palestine A policy statement on financing, and a social media campaign including a video on financing and debt and the dissemination of messages.


Social media campaign on debt, statement on financing, video on financing and disseminate advocacy messages


A statement on financing, and a social media campaign including a video on financing and debt and the dissemination of advocacy messages.


Social media campaign on debt, statement on financing and disseminate advocacy messages Yemen Statement on education financing, sort video on financing and debt and disseminate message

Webinar on the Challenges Faced by Youth in the Arab Region in the Context of Implementing the Right to Education – 10 May

On the occasion of the Global Action Week for Education 2021 the youth group in the Arab Campaign for Education for all-ACEA invite you to attend a webinar on” Challenges Faced by Youth in the Arab Region in the Context of Implementing the Right to Education” The idea of the webinar is to stimulate a discussion about The challenges that Arab girls face in accessing education, Aspects of discrimination and non-inclusion that characterise the educational system and Unemployment problems and lifelong learning opportunities.


CLADE held a regional policy dialogue focused on issues of education privatisation across Latin America on Wednesday, April 28. The event attracted a wide audience and saw an in-depth discussion around the findings of the following new research.

World Bank: Guidelines for Education and Financed Projects in LAC

Based on a selection of 48 educational projects currently financed by the World Bank in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, the study maps the priority issues and approaches, contributing to the understanding of the key guidelines with which the bank has been operating in the educational policy of the region.

Inter-American Development Bank: guidelines for education and projects financed in LAC

Part of the same series, this document focuses on the presence, action, and priorities for education of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The types of financing offered by the bank are presented, as well as the principles and conditions that countries must commit to when they contract the loans. To identify the IDB’s education agenda, we mapped projects currently financed in all the countries of the region – 148 projects in total – analysing the regional ones, 28 of them.

Profit in education within legal frameworks in Latin America and the Caribbean

The research explores how current legislation deals with the profit issue in education at compulsory level in 9 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru. It was asked whether the legal frameworks – National Constitutions, General Education Laws and other regulations – induce, allow for or explicitly prohibit the realisation of profit in education, and through which mechanisms.

Privatisation trends and new educational businesses in times of the Pandemic

In the context of the pandemic, this document provides elements for the debate and raises alerts on possible trends that further aggravate the scenario of privatisation of and in education in LAC, thus allowing civil society to anticipate its actions in defense of public education. It explores new business models that are emerging or strengthening during the sanitary emergency, particularly related to technological platforms and virtual resources, as well as the strategies of investors and entrepreneurs to achieve agreements with governments.

At a national level all the coalition have undertaken, or are planning to undertake, GAWE activities focused on education financing. Full details of these can be found on the CLADE GAWE specific website: An example of national activities included:


In Guatemala the Collective of Education for Everyone of Guatemala broadcast a statement on the importance of educational investment and did a radio interview at the Guatemalan Federation of Radio Schools. And on April 30 they hosted a webinar to raise Attention to Early Childhood Education, with the participation of the mayor of the municipality of Mexico and a Mayan invocation Spiritual Guide with the participation of preschool teachers

“With our actions, we want to highlight early childhood, the importance of financing education; the importance of access to connectivity, and how to safely return to school in the pandemic ”, states the Education for All Collective.


In Argentina the Argentine Campaign for the Right to Education (CADE) promoted the survey of the voices of families, teachers and young people with the themes “My education in the context of a pandemic” and “The school I want ”. Educational communities were invited to take testimonial videos, illustrations and written accounts. In addition, communication materials will be disseminated on the eight points identified by the World Campaign for the Right to Education in the document “Call to Action by a Billion Voices” , prioritizing issues such as improving and increasing financing for education. “In the framework of an electoral year in Argentina we are going to present the voices of people and activists to influence and make visible the needs of the educational community”, affirm the organizers of the actions.


ANCEFA launched a report on domestic financing of education on Thursday 29th during an event titled: “Increased Domestic financing for strong public, inclusive and resilient education systems in Africa during and post COVID 19” One Billion Voices: How Africa can lead on education in a post-COVID world

GCE and ANCEFA launched a new report – ‘One Billion Voices: How Africa can lead on education in a post COVID-19 world’. The report is based on a desktop review of education financing in Africa, including emerging issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It analyses government policy documents, national budgets, budget speeches, citizen budgets plus documents on debt servicing, domestic revenue, and taxation The report looked at 35 African countries and uses the 4S Framework referring to the Share, Size, Sensitivity and Scrutiny of budget allocation.

The report sets out ‘What is stopping education financing?’ and then examine ‘What needs to happen to Fund Education?’ within the context of Africa. The report sets out a range of findings and observations and then finishes with a set of policy recommendations for national governments in Africa, donors and the international community. A key finding from the report shows that 10 out of the 35 countries including in the report are spending a higher percentage of their national budget on debt servicing than on education.

National education financing policy events

In four African countries national coalitions hosted in-person education policy events including Ministerial representation, to discuss the urgent need to protect education budgets during the current pandemic and recession. These took place in Malawi, Swaziland, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.