Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister and Chairman of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, argues for more attention to education finance to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and calls on the G20 to support an International Finance Facility for education.
No issue is more important to the future of Commonwealth countries than education. By some estimates, 135 million children in the Commonwealth do not go to school and millions more do not complete their education. It is time to devise a strategy that will ensure that by 2030 – when the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have to be met – every single child in the Commonwealth is at school. I have visited dozens of African Commonwealth countries, and many more in Asia in my time as a volunteer, as a Prime Minister and as a UN Envoy, and I have seen the difference that education can make.
Investing in education is the most cost-effective way to drive economic development, empower girls, unlock health and the other SDGs, slow migration and break the vicious cycle many Commonwealth countries now face – uneducated girls, high population growth, lack of skills and employment, lower national income per head, forced migration and instability.
New resources needed
Global education cannot fulfil its unmet needs without new resources. Global education has suffered the neglect of the international community for decades and on current trends, half our future is being destroyed. Come 2030, when we are summoned to deliver on our development goal of universal secondary education, nearly half a billion children in the Commonwealth are not on track to achieve secondary level skills…
Former UK Prime Minister and Chairman of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity