Financing Universal Education
The biggest obstacle to ensuring high-quality education for all children is figuring out how to pay for it. Developing countries can finance well over 90% of what is needed, but they also need international aid that is amply supported by wealthy countries – and hemmed in by ideological agendas.
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND – The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals represent a remarkable commitment by the international community to eliminate poverty and improve health, the environment, education, and much more in all countries by 2030. The SDG for education is straightforward: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
Unfortunately, we are a long way from achieving this goal, particularly in developing countries. More than 250 million of the world’s 1.6 billion children are not in school, and 400 million lack basic literacy. If current trends continue, by 2030 half of all children will not have the basic skills needed for employment.
The main problem is a shortage of resources. While developing countries can finance more than 90% of what they need to ensure universal access to quality primary and secondary education, there is still a large funding gap – approaching $40 billion in 2020, and $90 billion by 2030 – that must be filled by international aid.