Education for All: A call for UK action

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At a Parliamentary event yesterday I spoke at the launch of a Education for All: A call for UK action. The UK has been a global leader in education and the call to action setrs out what more the UK needs to do to play an effective part in securing the education Millennium Development and Education for All Goals.

The document draws heavily on existing GCE UK policy engagement with DFID including our submission to the education strategy development process. It outlines some principles which we’d like to see evidenced by the UK and then sets out five policy calls:

  • More and better aid for      education
  • A global financing      initiative that can deliver Education for All
  • Improve educational quality,      equity and inclusion
  • International economic      policy reform that supports education for all
  • Action to address the global      literacy gap

Matar Baldeh, National Coordinator of the EFA Campaign Network in The Gambia provided a Southern perspective at the Parliamentary event, stressing what’s been achieved to date and the importance of continued UK engagement. Mr Baldeh will be participating in the upcoming Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Board meeting and said that he was optimistic that necessary reforms will be made to improve the governance structure of the FTI and greater participation of civil society at the Board level.

DFID Minister Mike Foster reinforced the UK’s ongoing commitment to ensuring education for all. He noted that the meeting was taking place in the same spot that the UK government passed an act to ensure that all British people had access to education 140 years ago, which I thought was a nice touch.

Shadow Development Minister Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP also spoke as did Malcolm Bruce MP for the Liberal Democrats. Mr Bruce is Chair of the International Development Select and showed an excellent understanding of some of the key issues for the UK in making meaningful and effective commitment to achieving the education goals.

All participants agreed that 2010 was a crucial year for education given the exposure that the 1Goal campaign will generate around the World Cup as well as the MDG Review Summit taking place this September. This meeting will provide a key moment for the international community to agree on steps that should be taken to ensure the MDG targets on education and gender parity are met.

Mike Foster also confirmed that DFID’s new education strategy on which the GCE worked closely with the government on developing will be launched in early March 2010.

UK must lead aid effort to achieve education for all: GCE

You can view the report below or download a pdf.