An exciting week in Brussels this week, as EU leaders met yesterday for a ‘High Level Conference on Education and Development‘. Afterwards, European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, made some ambitious pledges that will hopefully add to the momentum for a game-changing post-2015 agenda for education…
Building on the World Bank’s recently-announced goal to end extreme poverty by 2030, Mr Piebalgs made an exciting pledge to ensure that by 2030 “every child will be able to complete basic education, regardless of their circumstances and have basic literacy and numeracy skills“.
“I find it unacceptable that there are still 61 million children who don’t have access to basic education today… every child has the right to a quality education, no matter where they live.”
The goal for 2030 was announced at the high-level event, where the European Union highlighted spending €4.2 billion on education from 2007 to 2011 and helping 9 million students receive primary education in developing countries since 2004.
During the meeting, the European Commission announced that it will allocate at least 20 percent of its 2014-2020 aid budget for human development and social inclusion, with as much as €2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) for education.
The EU conference comes at a crucial moment, building on the momentum on education from the recent World Bank / UN joint “Learning for All” Ministerial meetings on education in Washington DC, and also coming the week before the UN’s High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development (co-chaired by David Cameron) releases its report back to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon outlining their ideas for the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals.
The conference also happened in the same week as a major Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Board meeting, the first attended by Alice Albright, the new Chief Executive of GPE. At their Board meeting, the GPE announced grants of US$439million for quality education for children in 12 Low-Income Countries. There is a real sense of the GPE gearing up to meet the challenge of education for all, with ambitious changes in the pipeline and planning for a major replenishment for the GPE provisionally scheduled for June 2014.
We’ll be watching this closely and keeping you updated!