National mobilization for education financing at the Dakar Summit

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Last Friday, February 2nd, the Financing Conference of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) ended in Dakar, a high level meeting whose aim was to mobilize funds to strengthen the education systems of developing countries, so that in 2030 all children have the right to a quality early childhood, primary and secondary education. The Dakar Summit was the first of its kind organized together with a donor country member of the G7, France, and a developing country, Senegal. It was also the first to bring together ten Heads of State, three ex Heads of State and more than a hundred Secretaries of State, who have demonstrated their commitment to education.

The Dakar Summit has fulfilled all expectations, both in terms of participation – with more than 1,200 participants, including leaders from UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society, and the private sector, in addition to the singer Rihanna, who is a global ambassador for the GPE – as well as in terms of economic commitment: donors have committed to contributing to the GPE with 2,3 billion dollars (1,86 billion euros) between 2018 and 2020, though the greatest effort is that 50 developing countries have announced an increase in their public spending on this matter until 20% of their respective budgets is achieved or exceeded, which represents 110 million dollars until 2020, compared to 80 million in the previous period.

Macky Sall, president of the host country, Senegal, had a decisive leadership role and pledged to increase the proportion of spending on education to 25% and also contributed $2 million USD to the replenishment fund. Senegal has become the first partner of a developing country that contributes to the fund, demonstrating its dedication to improving education nationally and globally.

The most important commitments of the Conference were those of the developing countries, which amounted to approximately $30 billion USD in new funds. The contributions of the EU, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway were also meaningful. The amount pledged by these countries reached almost 1,8 million dollars. The total pledged amount of the donor countries for this replenishment period was just over 2 million dollars. This figure is well above what was promised in 2014.

Likewise, the International Federation of Fe y Alegría and six national offices around the world have mobilized to demand political responsibility with education financing prior to the Dakar Summit in different forums and through several public action activities.

Fe y Alegría Honduras posted on social networks the motto: ¡Financien lo justo! For free public education for all before and during the Forum and as a part of the national coalition in Honduras that participated in the Summit as a part of the CLADE Delegation.

Fe y Alegría Bolivia as part of the Bolivian Campaign for the Right to Education raised their demands for greater financing and investment in education through the statement: “For quality, inclusive, equitable education, and lifelong learning opportunities for all: CALL TO ACTION,” which included the following demands: 1) Improve the quality of education of the Plurinational Educational System, 2) Necessary and relevant Information Systems, 3) Better financing and investment in education, 4) Development of inter-sectoral policies, plans and legislation, 5) Consolidation of community social participation in education.

In Nicaragua, Fe y Alegría mobilized in coordination with the organizations that make up the Forum for Education and Human Development of the Initiative for Nicaragua (FEDH-IPN), as well as with the organizations that form part of the Popular Education Council of Latin America and the Caribbean (CEAAL). They approached the President of the Nation, they organized a public event and they helped each other in social networks by spreading their messages for the financing of education.

Fe y Alegría Dominican Republic is a member of the Social Education Forum (FSE) which has been active in the campaign. The Forum had presence in Dakar through a representative of the coalition integrated by the Latin American Campaign for the right to education (CLADE).

Entreculturas (Fe y Alegría Spain), member of the Spanish Coalition of the Global Campaign for Education, carried out social media activity about the replenishment event, using and adapting the material received from abroad and they have set meetings and sent letters to political representatives to ensure their presence and commitment at the Summit.

Likewise, Fe y Alegría USA joined the campaign sharing the letter to congressmen and women developed under the scope of the Global Campaign for Education-US and with the sharing of messages on social networks.

Foi et Joie Haïti coordinated with the Reunification of Education for All (REPT) and sent an open letter to Prime Minister M. Jacques Guy Lafontant and spread messages on social networks.

Following the Dakar Summit, all of these and other organizations for the right to education of the Society of Jesus are committed to monitoring the pledges over the next three years. We need to see these funds reach where they are most needed, and ensure that they are spent in a sensible manner and to promote inclusion, equity and quality in public education systems.

Original Post via Edujesuit

Tax Justice needed to achieve educational justice

©Angela WellsJRS

Today, educational leaders from governments around the world are meeting in Dakar, Senegal, to commit the necessary funding for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). But what is the GPE? It is a multilateral fund that brings together countries from the South, donors, the private sector and civil society to mobilize funds to improve the quality and access to education in developing countries.

The goal of this meeting is for donors to commit to contributing $3.1 billion for educational policies in at least 65 developing countries. It is expected that many governments of lower income countries will also comply with the commitment to increase domestic funding for education.

Ensuring greater and better basic education, ending illiteracy, increasing the number of teachers and dignifying their profession are challenges that must be addressed together and require comprehensive responses.

Civil society demands that developing countries commit at least 20% of national budgets to education. However, in countries with low or very low incomes, this means an investment well below that necessary to guarantee the right to education for all people.

How can we increase the available income in a sustainable manner so that the governments of the most impoverished countries invest what is necessary in education? A measure as urgent as it is inescapable is the development of fair internal and global fiscal policies. Action Aid estimates that governments in developing countries lose at least $100 billion each year due to dubious tax practices by multinational companies. This international organization estimates that developing countries “give away” more than $138 billion each year in harmful tax incentives, even though research shows that securing such incentives is near the bottom of the list of criteria companies use to choose where to invest.

Investing more in education is the first step that must be taken to achieve educational justice, but it is not enough. The solution is to invest MORE and BETTER. Investing better means that governments are more thoughtful when setting priorities. We cannot achieve educational justice without equity, which is why governments have an obligation to allocate resources to the groups that are most disadvantaged and need them the most, such as girls, people with special needs or indigenous groups.

On the other hand, guaranteeing access is the first necessary step, but the quality gap in education continues to grow and educational inequality between countries and within the same countries is a scourge that must be addressed urgently. Governments must allocate resources to improve quality and that means teacher training, better pedagogical tools and practices, curricular adaptations, …

Therefore, increased investment and improvement through the prioritization of groups and educational stages is needed to meet equity criteria and investment in improving quality.

The Global Partnership for Education that is taking place this week in Dakar and will set funding commitments for the next three years, can play a key role in supporting governments and donors to get involved in the fight for educational justice that can only be achieved if it first ensures a fair redistribution of wealth through fair fiscal policies.

Fund quality education for all

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Starting February 1st and 2nd, Dakar, Senegal will host government representatives from low and lower-middle income countries and donors, multilateral and civil society organizations, as well as private sector organizations and foundations, at the Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference. These representatives are coming together under a common goal: to mobilize the funding necessary to meet the objectives established under Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030 and thus guarantee the right to quality education for all.

To achieve this ambitious goal, governments from low and lower-middle income countries must (1) substantially increase the funds they currently allocate for education to reach between 15% and 20% of their national public budget; (2) progressively increase the tax base so that they allocate more funds for education; and (3) ensure educational investment becomes more efficient and equitable, thus allocating more funds to the most marginalized and vulnerable populations.

However, this would still be insufficient to guarantee quality early childhood, primary and secondary education for all children by 2030. According to estimates, the funding gap would still amount to $39 billion dollars USD.


This is where the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) comes into play, a multilateral mechanism that, since 2002, channels funds from donor countries to 65 recipient countries and which has managed to facilitate access to quality primary education for 72 million children, among other achievements. Thus, the GPE is an essential funding tool to make the right to education a reality, especially among the most vulnerable groups and contexts. That is why the next Summit in Dakar is such a crucial moment, as it will be when the governments of the donor countries commit funds to contribute to the financing of education where it is most needed.

All of the organizations and coalitions that make up the Global Campaign for Education are coordinating to ensure that governments are up to the essential challenge we will face in the next decade: guarantee the right to education for all people and thus build a more equitable and sustainable world.

Fe y Alegría, a global movement that is present in 11 member countries of the Global Partnership for Education–Bolivia, Chad, Spain, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic and the US–urges the governments of these countries to adopt the commitments proposed by the GPE.

We invite you to help us spread the Fund the Future Campaign through social networks, so that through all of our efforts, our common message reaches our public representatives: Education needs funding now. #FundTheFuture #EducationNow #TaxJustice

Looking for concrete ways to take action? Below are the links for the US Citizen actions that the Global Campaign for Education – US has created online:

Contact your Members of Congress and let them know that you believe that all children and youth around the world should have an education!

Please sign this US Government Petition and ask everyone in your networks to join you in this effort. The Global Campaign for Education-US will distribute this petitition to US Government leadership.

Share “Fund the Future” campaign resources through your social media networks.