GCE Statement, Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2021: More and better financing for education

#GAWE2021 #OneBillionVoicesForEducation

The Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2021 aims to mobilize public financing for education. Led by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) members in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Arab region, and partners the 2021 edition is being organized as a high intensity advocacy multi-layered space, in which civil society organizations in different regions demand concrete actions to stop privatization and the indebtedness of fragile states, as well as to achieve the necessary goals to predictably guarantee the funds that public education systems need; including the progressive increase of the national budgeting for early childhood education, basic education, education for youth and adults and tertiary education.

The realization of the human right to education requires multiple efforts from all sectors of society, and it is dependent on the compliance with specific obligations of governments and the international community.

These state obligations must be interconnected and seek to break down the barriers imposed by discrimination, colonization and injustice, according to international human rights law and the Sustainable Development/Education 2030 Agenda. For this reason, education financing must be motivated by the construction of education systems that promote and realize human rights as a way of life. The fight for education is not limited to guaranteeing its availability and universal access, because the content of education, its governance and administration, and the challenges of teaching and learning are consubstantial parts of this enabling human right.

GCE affirms that one of the important lessons derived from the health crisis caused by COVID-19, is the need to turn the school into a safe space, where children can always play and learn. This has been reminded to us by Shamarke and Zakariye, students from Mogadishu who used to live on the streets and today enjoy education opportunities.

The Global Campaign for Education recalls that national budgeting for Education require four central obligations:
  1. Increasing the Share of budgets for education,
  2. Increasing the Size of budgets overall,
  3. Increasing the Sensitivity of budgets in order to respond to the most marginalized and;
  4. Increasing the Scrutiny of budgets, so governments are accountable to people.

Setting progressive budgeting obviously requires tax justice schemes: this would be a fundamental shift in how the private sector engages with and supports the public sector in education.

GAWE 2021 will see the world’s largest civil society movement for the right to education to come together to demand action in line with our One Billion Voices campaign, within which we call on States and the International Community to:
  1. Increase state funding for education to 20% of public expenditure.
  2. Increase their tax base in order to increase resources, working towards a minimum tax-to-GDP ratio of 20%.
  3. Enable urgent debt cancellation for the least developed countries; and debt alleviation for middle and upper-middle-income countries.
  4. Ensure inclusive education systems through equitable financing and programmes that prioritises the most marginalised.
  5. Provide free quality education for all and end the trend towards the privatization and commercialization of education.
  6. Improve the quality of teaching through adequate recruitment, remuneration and continued teacher training.
  7. Listen and respond to the voices of those affected. Space must be allowed for individuals and civil society to speak up.
  8. Developed countries must continue to work towards the goal of 0.7% overseas aid, with 20% of this spent on education, and increasing their contributions to the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait.

The Global Campaign for Education renews its commitment to building inclusive, egalitarian, supportive and democratic societies, and as such the Global Action Week for Education is a mechanism that also reminds the central role of civil society, students, women, people with disabilities and teachers in the struggle for a world that leaves no one behind.

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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.