The Zambia National Education Coalition joins the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other campaigners in calling for adequate aid to fund education ahead of the Pledging Conference which opens tomorrow (8th November) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The pledging Conference is a fundraising initiative of the GPE aimed at raising at least $2.5 billion to support education in developing countries for the next three years (2012-2014). The conference will be attended by over 200 delegates drawn from Development Partners (donor governments and multilateral agencies), Private Sector/ Foundations, Ministers of Education and Civil Society from across the globe. Public commitments to education are expected to be made at the event hosted by the Danish Government in collaboration with other partner countries. The funds to be raised are intended to fund the GPE strategy which focuses on increased support for education in fragile states, improved learning outcomes and girls’ education, with the view to supporting the GPE’s goal of reducing the number of out-of-school children.
ZANEC, which is a representative of the civil society in developing countries on the GPE’s Board of Directors, is in full support of the strategic directions adopted by the GPE because its constituent members contribute significantly to the global statistics where at least 67 million are still unable to attend primary education, and those that are in school are not able to read or write. Gender disparities are also characteristic of the higher levels of the education systems. In Sub-Sahara, for example, the completion rate for girls is only 46% while that of boys is at 56%, with girls having less than a 50% chance of proceeding to upper secondary.
During the Pledging Conference, ZANEC will also join other civil society actors, led by the Global Campaign for Education, in the “Fund the Future” campaign to call for the best quality aid to education. Referred to as a ten point plan for transforming aid to education, the campaign calls for developed countries to pay a fair share for basic education, to untie aid and ensure it addresses priorities of recipient countries, and to deliver predictable aid. The campaign also calls for a holistic focus on all EFA goals, the use of most aligned aid modalities (with a preference for sector budget support), the need for hiring of qualified teacher and engagement with civil society, among other issues. Donor governments are also being called on, not just to pledge but to deliver on their promises.