Norway pledges NOK two billion to the Global Partnership for Education

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Nikolai Astrup, the newly appointed Minister of International Development announcing Norway's increased commitment for Education. Credit: GPE/Heather Shuker

'Norway is one of the largest donors to the Global Partnership for Education and we urge other donors to increase their support. Together we will continue our efforts to ensure that all children and young people have access to education, especially girls who are still being excluded,' said Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup.

The Minister of International Development has announced that Norway's contribution for the period 2018–2020 at the Financing Conference of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) that took place in Dakar, Senegal the beginning of February, 2018. Over the next three years, Norway will provide a total of NOK 2.07 billion (NPR 27 billion), an increase of NOK 600 million (NPR 7849 million) compared to our contribution for the period 2015-2017. The Norwegian pledge will contribute to provide training for 1.7 million more teachers and to enable an additional 19 million children to complete primary education.

Education is of crucial importance for combating poverty and fostering social development. Some 264 million children and young people are out of school. In addition, there are many places where the quality of education is so poor that children do not even learn basic skills such as numeracy and literacy. This has major consequences in social, economic and security terms, both for the countries that are lagging behind and for the rest of the international community,' said Mr Astrup.

The GPE is a partnership of donors, developing country partners, international organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector and philanthropic foundations. Its main objective is to support countries' own plans for education, especially primary education.

Support provided during the previous funding period, when Norway was the third-largest donor, has produced good results. In 2015, the number of children enrolled in primary schools in the GPE's developing country partners was 75 million higher than in 2002. Niger has used GPE funding to improve the quality of education by introducing mother tongue instruction, developing a new curriculum, improving the learning environment and recruiting trained teachers. As a result of these reforms, 78 % of children are now completing primary education, compared with only 51 % a few years ago.

'Norway's support for the GPE in the years ahead will focus on girls' education, the inclusion of children with disabilities, teacher effectiveness and learning outcomes, and how work in the school sector at country level can be made more effective,' said Mr Astrup.

Norway is at the forefront of international efforts to promote global education. More information is available here. In Nepal education is a prioritised sector for Norway's development aid as a means to combat poverty and fostering social development. Read more about Norway's work on Education in Nepal here.