Education invisible in the G8 communiqué

By Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report

Leaders at the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland this week made progress on many important issues including international trade agreements, tax systems, transparency and terrorism. It is extremely worrying, however, that education was not mentioned at all in the 24-page communiqué from the meeting. As a vital component of tackling global poverty, education should be central to the G8’s goals.

The communiqué highlighted growth and jobs as the G8’s top priority. However, there was no mention of education’s role in solving the youth unemployment problem, despite the fact that one in five young people in developing countries have not completed primary school and lack the skills needed for work.

G8 logoThe meeting pledged US$1.5 billion in humanitarian aid for Syria, which will help to provide education along with other necessities including food and medical care, according to the UK government’s website. But education’s absence from the communiqué does not offer hope that much of this amount will go to schooling, which typically gets a bad deal in emergencies: as the 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report found, only 2% of humanitarian aid is spent on education. As a result, millions of children in conflict-affected zones are denied their right to learn.

Although education is not mentioned explicitly, there are two announcements in the communiqué that should have a beneficial effect on children who are out of school, provided appropriate action is taken. First is the G8’s pledge to “be more transparent in reporting the aid we provide, and work with developing countries, especially the poorest, to ensure that resources are better matched to needs”. This is welcome news for education: transparency in extraction deals can help direct natural resource revenue to where it is most needed, including education, to ensure that natural resources provide a long-term, sustainable benefit to communities.

Second, the group’s commitment to sustainable global food and nutrition security is also, implicitly at least, good news for education. Early nutrition is vital to a child’s development and ability to learn. It is not possible to end the hunger crisis permanently, however, without also providing quality basic education, which helps break the cycle of the poverty that causes hunger and malnutrition to begin with.

Given that targets for education in previous G8 agreements were already weak, the lack of attention to education in the G8’s discussion is cause for serious concern. G8 leaders seem to have ignored education’s core role in achieving other goals, such as reducing poverty, improving nutrition and boosting employment, and they don’t seem to have listened to the public’s vote putting education as their top priority for development after 2015.

With the 2015 deadline for achieving Education for All fast approaching and the funding gap widening, a renewed commitment to education from G8 countries is vital. Making sure this message gets through to world leaders and policy makers now, and in the run-up to their next big gathering – the UN summit this summer – has never been more important.

This entry was posted in Aid, Basic education, Employment, Finance, Group of 8, Nutrition, Out-of-school children, Post-2015 development framework, Poverty, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Education invisible in the G8 communiqué

  1. zaida olivia Andrade Cazáres says:

    Importantes los temas tratados en el presente documente y preocupante no poder cumplirlo, comparto un lema ” no enriquezcas tu casa, enriquece el país” si esto lo llevamos a cabo tengo la seguridad que la ayuda llegaría hasta el rincón mas apartado, si resaltamos y aplicamos los valores, no solo los recitamos, sacaríamos la parte humanista que cada uno tenemos en lo más profundo de nuestro ser, en los programas no es solo otorgarlo y sacar la foto para que la sociedad se de cuenta que se esta cumpliendo, hay que hacer seguimiento, institucionalizar comités de vigilancias, con autoridades y ciudadanía, transparentar los recursos.
    Una practica muy común llevada a cabo es otorgar los desayunos escolares a las clases más desprotegidas de la educación, sin embargo el maestro unitario o de comunidad no cuenta con vehículo para transportar los alimentos por lo que no solo no se los lleva, sino que el supervisor para cumplir este compromiso se lo ofrece a las escuelas ubicadas en el centro de cada municipio, en la que los alumnos inscritos son de clase media alta.
    Organización y compromiso leal y legal para la aplicación de programas federales en los que los recursos otorgados son para elevar la calidad educativa. Legal en el sentido de que aquellos docentes que no hubiesen cumplido cabalmente con su encomienda, sean sancionados.
    Así como se les dio a ganar más a los maestros por preparación profesional, mediante carrera magisterial, considero, que se debe de instituir un mecanismo que merme descuentos por no aplicar los conocimientos adquiridos que de alguna manera le costó al estado su profesionalización

    Zaida Olivia Andrade Cazares
    zandrade44@hotmail.com

    Like

  2. Julia Shanon says:

    Hi Pauline, why did education has to be invisible in this G8 communique?

    Like

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