School Children Himalayas Prabhu B Doss/Flickr

Building the Global Schoolhouse

Despite a commitment by the international community to guarantee universal primary education, many of the world’s most marginalized children remain out of school. As the world works to offer every child the possibility of attending secondary school by 2030, the key challenge will be to secure the necessary funding.

LONDON – This year is a critical one for education worldwide. Despite a commitment by the international community to guarantee universal primary schooling, some 58 million of the world’s most marginalized children remain out of the classroom. And, as we seek to expand the international community’s commitment, so that by 2030 every child has the opportunity to attend secondary school, we must work hard to provide the necessary funding.

This is why the upcoming four-day World Education Forum in South Korea, the homeland of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is so important. According to most estimates, providing universal secondary education will cost international donors an additional $22-50 billion a year, even after developing countries ramp up their commitments. If we fail to raise that money, the hopes and ambitions of millions of children are certain to be crushed.

The Forum will focus on how to bridge the funding gap. Later, on July 7, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Børge Brende will convene a summit in Oslo with the aim of raising education’s profile among global priorities, reversing negative trends in financing, and identifying ways to support students more effectively. Other conferences, including the Addis Ababa International Conference on Financing for Development, the Education International World Congress, an #UpForSchool Town Hall during the UN General Assembly, and the 28th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, will provide forums for action and discussion.

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