To the Editor,
Millions of children were back to school two months ago. But not in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or the Middle East.
Around the world, almost 70 million elementary school-aged children— especially girls— don’t go to school at all. Millions more receive a poor-quality education and will not be able to read, write or count.
Investing in basic education is one of the best ways to fight poverty.
In the last decade, the number of out-of-school primary school-aged children has decreased from 102 million to 67 million, with support from mechanisms like the Education for All — Fast Track Initiative (FTI). Such a decrease will surely have a huge impact on reducing poverty over a long period of time.
The FTI is an effective global partnership, devoted to ensuring that all children are enrolled and receiving a quality basic education. Through its pooled funding model, the FTI provides development partner countries with additional incentives to develop and implement sound national education plans.
As more countries recognize the importance of basic education, there has been an unprecedented demand for educational resources globally.
Canada is among the rich countries contributing to the FTI, but is still not contributing its fair share when compared to other countries.
Thus, it is the time to act and ensure that Canada makes a robust commitment to the FTI at the replenishment conference in November.
The most effective demonstration of that would be for Canada to meet its fair share of the financing gap (five per cent) for education and increase its contribution to a total of $125 million over three years.
One hundred twenty-five million dollars over three years is not such a big commitment for a country like Canada.