Contact: Lerato Balendran, GCE Communications Officer, lerato[@]

Global Campaign for Education express serious concerns about new education financing initiative

Across the world, 200 million young people leave school without the skills they need to thrive. While GCE acknowledges the global education crisis, and the need for a radical shift in financing education, commodification of this basic human right deflects from achieving inclusive quality education for all.

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST: Global Campaign for Education released a statement raising concerns with a new proposed initiative that distracts attention from the development of Africa and Middle East education sector. As governments struggle to fund ambitious components of SDG4, the ‘Education Outcomes Fund’ (EOF) seeks to raise $1 billion to transform education by paying for results achieved in Africa and Middle East.

“Education requires years to bear fruit, unlike seasonal harvested products. This private for-profit approach is particularly dangerous to African countries, the main target countries. Indeed, how do we measure results from countries whose primary concern is that all children go to school and stay there?” Samuel Dembelé, President of the African Network Campaign for Education for All (ANCEFA).

GCE strongly believes an additional fund that extracts profits from education provision is in fundamental contravention of the right to education and exacerbates discrimination against the poorest families and most disadvantaged children. For this reason, it is critical not to fund for-profit providers that commercialise education. Strong international cooperation financing mechanisms already exist to promote public education systems which adequately respond to SDG4 goals and targets, including 12 years of free quality education. GCE is concerned the growing number of various multilateral funding streams including EOF further contributes to proliferation of the education financing architecture.

GCE calls on Ministries of Education in ‘potential initial pilot countries’ (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia) and any proposed future pilots to rebuke and distance themselves from this problematic results driven fund. The supposed ‘game-changing initiative’, is another distraction from the real challenge of increasing domestic resource mobilisation. The Education Commission estimates that 97% of the funds to solve the education crisis are needed from domestic sources. Increasing domestic resources is possible only through better governance and tax justice. The international community efforts should support States achieving systemic changes instead of incurring debts with mechanisms like IFFEd or supporting initiatives that stand on principles which contradict education as a basic human right like Education Outcomes Fund.

“The Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA) calls all stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure national education systems remain the duty bearers of funding education. This is of extreme significance, especially in emergency contexts, where states, even those that are fragile, civil society and international partners need to collaborate and strengthen existing systems rather than create parallel ones. Harmonization of education funding support is crucial not only to avoid division of responsibility but ensure that SDG4 progress is monitored rigorously and that mutual accountability is embedded in domestic practice” said Refaat Sabbah- ACEA General Secretary

Everyone has a role to play in improving education. Citizens, supported by civil society organisations and research institutions point out gaps in quality, equitable education but governments remain the primary duty bearers for the right to education. Education stakeholders and the international community must support existing funding mechanism rather than promote profit making initiatives, linked to narrowly measurable learning outcomes. The Global Campaign for Education is keen to find common ground with stakeholders committed to the right to education but efforts must urgently advance systemic public education reforms.

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a civil society movement that calls on governments to realise the right to education. With members in more than 90 countries,the network connects grassroots organizations, teachers’ unions, child and women rights groups, NGOs, parents’ associations and community groups.

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The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a civil society movement that aims to end exclusion in education. Education is a basic human right, and our mission is to make sure that governments act now to deliver the right of everyone to a free, quality, public education.