The world is facing an alarming education crisis. Without immediate action, over half of the upcoming youth generation – 825 million of the 1.6 billion young people in 2030 – will be left behind and shut out of opportunity through education, failing on the promise of SDG4. The costs of this crisis – unemployment, poverty, inequality, instability – and the skills gap will stunt economic growth, with social, security and political repercussions.
Meanwhile more than 260 million children and adolescents are not in school at all, and many more are in school and not learning. Only 1 in 12 young people in low-income countries will be on track to gain secondary level skills. Despite some progress in reaching gender equality, in the worlds’ poorest countries, girls are still denied an education more than boys.
Current levels of investment in education are critically low. To reach the Sustainable Development. Goals for quality education (SDG4) global spending on education must rise annually from $1.2 trillion per year to $3 trillion by 2030. If we do not act urgently, we are likely to miss the 2030 deadline for these goals by more than 50 years.
This year’s UNGA presents a vital window of opportunity to reposition education at the center of the political agenda, a key tool in the prevention of crises and instability, and as a cross-cutting solution to the pressing social, economic and political challenges facing the world and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
The event will be a highlight of the UNGA calendar bringing together an unprecedented roster of world leaders to deliver a powerful call to action to close the global education financing gap.
The aims of the side-event are to:
- Secure leader-level political commitment to the social, political and economic importance of investing in a full cycle of quality early-childhood, primary and secondary education.
- Deliver concrete pledges and generate momentum and support for education financing in a critical year leading up to the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education and year two of the Education Cannot Wait Fund.
- Report back on the work of the Education Commission including proposals for an International Financing Facility for education and the work of the Pioneer Countries.
- Showcase success stories of country-led initiatives with increased domestic resource mobilisation and efficient development cooperation.
- Mobilise financial and policy commitments targeting the most marginalised, especially girls.
- Identify and commit to robust accountability mechanisms for follow up on commitments made.