Education Investments in Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa Region: Gaps & Opportunities towards sustainable financing beyond GPE commitments

The recent school closures and lockdowns have forced children, especially girls around the world from the classroom – and millions may never return.

The most marginalised and underserved – children with disabilities, minority populations, low-income families and girls – have been pushed further to the margins.

COVID-19 laid bare existing inequalities within the education system that we can no longer afford to ignore. Without quality education, the next generation faces the threats of child labour, poor health, early marriage and intergenerational poverty. Drastic action is needed.

Determining how to make every cent of education funding work for girls is more important than ever. I am pleased that this report and policy documents provide important recommendations for the different actors supporting better financing for gender equality in education.

Currently, the recent G7 and GPE financial commitments do not go far enough to meet the ambitious targets and address the massive financing gap facing the education sector.

The unprecedented disruption to education is an opportunity to change the status quo and introduce new, gender-responsive measures to transform our education systems.

Ensuring every girl can go to school depends on governments’ ability to provide stimulus spending at scale to reenroll girls, provide them with remedial learning support and increase overall investment in education. If leaders act with the urgency and ambition that the crisis demands, they can help millions of girls and lay the foundations for a gender-just recovery from the pandemic.

This change will require sufficient technical capacity at all levels, sufficient gender-disaggregated data, and because it needs the involvement of a number of government departments, sufficient political will.

We have clear and urgent opportunity to build back equal. This report calls for bold actions from brave leaders;

1. Build strong, well-performing systems by investing in what works and rooting out corruption and waste,

2. Support innovation in how education is delivered while better supporting the teaching profession, and embracing technology,

3. Prioritise inclusion, to make sure that the most marginalized especially girls, poorest, youngest and children with disabilities, receive a quality education.

4. Mobilise sufficient finance through domestic finance and increasing international support, including innovative finance.

We must continue to use our collective power of the partnership and development diplomacy to bring partners together to catalyze change and mobilize greater investments.

Source: Plan International