Letter to the editor: Let’s invest in global education

Lila Bartel, of Topeka, writes that a fully funded Global Partnership for Education could provide assistance to 89 countries and 870 million children and youth currently not being educated. (File photo/The Capital-Journal)

The Global Partnership for Education is something we hear little about from Washington. Now looking for its third replenishment, a fully funded GPE could provide assistance to 89 countries and 870 million children and youth currently not being educated. Replenishment funding would see teacher training, building of classrooms and the distribution of 204 million textbooks.

 

Worldwide, there are 263 million children not schooled, and many of them are in dangerous places. Education provides valuable rewards and a high return, reducing poverty, increasing income and boosting economic growth. It leads to better health, lower crime rates, economic development, governmental stability, peace and prosperity.

The governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have supported GPE by increasing their total development assistance for education and making ambitious pledges over the past three years. GPE’s approach puts countries in the driver’s seat to leverage additional resources for education and build the political will and accountability necessary for the sustainable improvement of educational systems. It is not surprising that my research through the nonpartisan organization RESULTS-Topeka led me to this conclusion.

Education offers reason to hope. Education has the power to reduce inequalities and level the playing field for those marginalized and disenfranchised. A 30-year study across 152 countries revealed that when a country is at risk of civil war, every year of education decreases the chances of engaging in violent conflict by 20 percent.

In February 2018, world leaders will have the opportunity to come together in Senegal for the GPE Financing Conference. This conference could take a concrete step toward making quality education a reality for children with the greatest need.

This is financially sound, fair and moral. Education in developing countries increases all of our chances for a less violent world. This is the time to invest. Co-sponsorships are now open, Sens. Moran and Roberts.

Lila Bartel, Topeka

 

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