A remarkable 190 organisations, including the Right to Education Initiative, have signed up to a bold Call to Action on domestic financing of education post-Covid. Faced with the threat of major cuts to education spending in developing countries, this call to action offers an alternative path.
The Call to Action was organised by ActionAid following a high-level webinar at the end of July. It has been endorsed by most major international NGOs (including Oxfam, Save the Children, Plan International, World Vision), many leading campaign groups (e.g. Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Global Campaign for Education, ONE), human rights organisations, women’s movements, foundations, regional organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Arab Countries, dozens of national education coalitions and a huge range of national and local NGOs.
Worldwide school closures as a result of Covid-19 have already affected the education of over 1.5 billion children. Just as schools start to re-open, Covid-19’s economic consequences will amplify the education gap, possibly reversing some of the progress we have made in the last few decades: an economic crisis that acutely threatens public finances and the capacity of governments to maintain present provision let alone expand education in order to achieve SDG4. UNESCO estimates at least $210 billion will be cut from education budgets next year simply owing to declines in GDP. Pressure to reallocate scarce resources to health and social safety nets, might cut 5% from education budgets amounting to a total loss of $337 billion in education spending, with disastrous consequences.
This is probable but not inevitable. The Call to Action shows that another path can be followed and that Covid could be a turning point. Simple steps taken on budget shares, tax, debt, austerity and aid could enable us to build back better. This is an agenda for transformation in education financing – one that has support from around the world.
You can read a blog about this Call to Action here.
This news item originally appeared on the ActionAid website.