The Turning Point: Investing in Education in Emergencies
A Project Syndicate Series for the Oslo Summit on Education For Development.
On July 6-7, 2015, heads of government, education ministers, and international organizations convened to discuss solutions for the world’s 59 million out-of-school children. Building on the outcomes of the World Education Forum in Korea, the Oslo Summit on Education for Development marked the second-to-last high-level meeting on education before the General Assembly of the United Nations in September in which the official Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was adopted. It also marked the first time that world leaders officially prioritized education in emergencies by agreeing on a financing mechanism for education in emergencies. They also established an International Commission on the Financing of Global Education Opportunities to link economic growth to global education development. Learn more by reading key leaders’ op-eds belows.
Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, & Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Education is a human right. And, like other human rights, it cannot be taken for granted. Across the world, 59 million children and 65 million adolescents are out of school. More than 120 million children do not complete primary education. Behind these figures there are children and youth being denied not only a right, but opportunities: a fair chance to get a decent job, to escape poverty, to support their families, and to develop their communities. This year, decision-makers will set the priorities for global development for the next 15 years. They should make sure to place education high on the list.
6 July 2015
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan
The importance of education – and especially schooling – cannot be overestimated. Not only has the expansion of primary and secondary education been linked to accelerated economic growth, poverty eradication, and improved income equality, but education also appears to be closely associated with social enrichment and inclusion, the upgrading of human capital, increased opportunities, and enhanced freedom and welfare. That is why, as Pakistan’s prime minister, I have placed universal access to education very high on the national agenda.
1 July 2015
Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Norway, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Børge Brende, will soon host a summit on education for development with one simple aim: to bolster global cooperation on education. The hope is that the summit, which United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend, will improve the world’s chances of meeting the goal, featured in the upcoming post-2015 development agenda, that every child have access to pre-primary, primary, and secondary education by 2030.
27 June 2015
Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, former Prime Minister of Australia
World leaders who care passionately about education will soon gather in Oslo for a summit, convened by Norway’s government, to discuss the educational needs of the world’s poorest children. This is a pivotal year, when the world is deciding on the content and financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will guide development efforts for the next 15 years. And it is becoming a year of high-level focus on education. As it should be.
2 July 2015
Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Education, Lebanon
When I took charge of Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education in February 2014, I was presented with two huge challenges. In addition to improving the management and quality of Lebanon’s public education system, I had to determine how to handle the unprecedented influx of refugees from Syria – around half a million of them children.
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/lebanon-educates-syrian-refugee-children-by-elias-bou-saab-2015-07#QscFto9CahGYBitU.99
6 July 2015
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
Leave no person or country behind. This is the ultimate ambition of the sustainable development agenda that will be adopted at the United Nations in September. As the world prepares to rally around a new set of goals to improve lives and protect the planet, we must load the dice. That is why the upcoming Oslo Summit on Education for Development is so important.
3 July 2015
Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF
Some time ago, I met a young girl in Jordan’s vast Zaatari refugee camp. Like the tens of thousands of other children there, she and her family had fled the ever-worsening conflict in Syria. I first met her in a makeshift classroom situated in a sea of tents; later, I saw her again, playing with other children on a rough playground.
3 July 2015