World leaders have committed this week to urgent action to reverse the decline in support to education around the world.
The decision came at the Oslo Education for Development Summit – the day after new figures showed the number of children out of school has gone up while aid to education has dropped.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende revealed the action points and committed to double his country’s funding for global education.
He said: “What is holding back progress is first and foremost a lack of commitment. The Oslo summit has helped mobilise this commitment.
The Oslo Declaration includes these announcements:
The launch of a high-level International Commission on the Financing of Global Education Opportunities to explore and invigorate the case for investment in education and reverse declines in funding.
- An agreement to set up a common platform to improve how aid is provided in emergencies – including conflicts and natural disasters – and urgently address the gap in funding of education in emergencies
- Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, will chair the new commission and gave his full backing to the moves.
On the aid for emergencies initiative, he said: “While we do something about shelter, food and healthcare, we are doing almost nothing about education.
“There is agreement now that we must go ahead at speed. There will be a meeting at the United Nations in September to finalise plans. This couldn’t have happened without Norwegian leadership.”
The European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, announced his objective to dedicate 4% of the EU humanitarian aid budget to education for children in emergency situations. He said: “No child should miss out on education. We want to make education a priority in emergency situations so that more children can have access to learning, to teachers, to a brighter future. I am truly committed to this cause”.
The two-day summit was organised to mobilise strong and renewed political commitment to reach the 59 million children who are still being denied their right to education, and to improve learning outcomes for those who attend school.