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Rich countries pledge big bucks to ensure access to education4 min read

August 1, 2021 3 min read


Rich countries pledge big bucks to ensure access to education4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Digital learning in India. Photo: DNA

The pandemic has impacted every area of life – this we know. And education, which went digital to keep children safe, has suffered too. Despite schools and governments across the world making efforts to take education to all the students stuck at home, some countries have found it hard to do this.

For example, Learning Spiral, one of India’s leading online examination solution providers, found in an online survey that above 50% of Indian students including, both in urban and rural areas, don’t have access to the internet for online studies. This scenario is the same in poorer countries, leading to many youngsters losing out on their education.

So what is the solution for this? One obvious one is to get enough funds from economically-strong countries that can be used for making sure children get access to online education.

What does it mean to be a poor or rich country?

We often hear the terms ‘poor country’ and ‘rich country’, but what exactly does this mean? How do we decide which country is rich and which is poor? Let’s understand.

An economically advanced country is one characterised by large industrial and service sectors, high levels of gross domestic product (GDP) and income per person.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and GPE Board Chair Julia Gillard at the Global Education Summit in London. Photo:Global Partnership for Education

This is what happened at the Global Education Summit held in London on July 29. The summit, which brings together world leaders and international organisations, was co-hosted by the United Kingdom, Kenya and the funding organisation Global Partnership for Education.

International governments and companies have pledged more than $4 billion to educate 175 million children around the world during the next five years. This effort is to ensure that there isn’t a whole generation of children who have suffered due to lack of education in the face of the pandemic.

Here’s how much countries plan on donating

  • £595 million from the European Union
  • £430 million from the UK
  • £300 million from Norway
  • £173 million from Canada
  • £218 million over three years from the United States

*£1 is $1.39, and $1 is ₹74.38. Can you calculate the above figures in dollars and rupees?

Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister and chair of the Global Partnership for Education, was confident that the full amount would be raised, but different the funds would arrive in different stages depending on the country.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

With £430 million, this is the largest pledge the UK has ever made to the Global Partnership for Education.

She said the pandemic had disrupted education in all countries — but the impact of closing schools had been much worse in poorer countries where many families lacked access at home to internet connections or electricity.

In addition to the $4 billion pledged from donors, 19 governments and ministers committed to spending at least 20% of national budgets on education.

Malala Yousafzai.
Photo: EPA/Shutterstock

Malala stresses on girls’ education

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who campaigns for education, was present at the summit. She spoke of the importance of investing in education for girls in countries where they had fewer opportunities because of their gender.

“The world is facing a girls’ education crisis, with more than 130 million out of school around the world and millions more at risk of not returning after the pandemic,” she said.

Are you interested in learning more about this year’s summit? You can watch the sessions and learn more about the cause here.

Sources: BBC, reliefweb,Global Partnership for Education, India Today

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