Pupils at Saint Denis Ssebugwawo Secondary School Stuart Price/Getty Images

The West’s Broken Promises on Education Aid

The Global Partnership for Education, a worthy and capable initiative to promote education in 65 low-income countries, is begging for funds. The fact that it must do so – and for a paltry $1 billion per year, at that – exposes the charade of the US and European commitment to education for all.

NEW YORK – The Global Partnership for Education, a worthy and capable initiative to promote education in 65 low-income countries, is having what the jargon of development assistance calls a “replenishment round,” meaning that it is asking donor governments to refill its coffers. Yet the fact that the GPE is begging for mere crumbs – a mere $1 billion per year – exposes the charade of Western governments’ commitment to the global Education for All agenda.

The United States and the European Union have never cared that much about that agenda. When it comes to disease, they have at times been willing to invest to slow or stop epidemics like AIDS, malaria, and Ebola, both to save lives and to prevent the diseases from coming to their own countries. But when it comes to education, many countries in the West are more interested in building walls and detention camps than schools.

The GPE does excellent work promoting primary education around the world. Donor countries, all of which long ago signed on to Education for All, should be clamoring to help one of the world’s most effective organizations to achieve that goal. Yet generous donors are few and far between.

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