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Poverty and Quality of Education

At this year’s WISE Summit, Education Above All Foundation is exploring some of the key factors affecting education access around the world.

Poverty and Quality of Education
November 05, 2015

on the opening day of the 2015 WISE Summit sessions, EAA convened panels addressing two of these factors – poverty and quality. Against the backdrop of the recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals reinforcing the importance of education’s role on the development agenda, speakers from government, NGOs and multilateral organisations addressed timely and relevant topics via the platform of EAA’s programmes.

During a session organised by EAA’s Educate A Child programme dedicated to the issue of poverty, called “Current Education Financing Mechanisms and Promising Options”, speakers discussed the issue of financing education. Moderated by Dr Nick Burnett, Managing Director, Results for Development, speakers for this session included: Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education; Ichiro Miyazawa, UNESCO Bangkok; Nadia Bernasconi, Norwegian Refugee Council, Louis Falcy, International Rescue Committee; and international consultant Claire Trainar.

Commenting on the session, Dr. Mary Joy Pigozzi, Director of Educate A Child, said, “We must take a holistic look at the role that poverty plays in impacting access to education through a deeper understanding of the specific barriers in different regions. By identifying innovative projects that address the root causes that keep children out of school we can ensure benefits for children in some of the most poverty-stricken places in the world. No one-size-fits all solution will work, nor will it work fast enough to keep the promise to the world’s out of school children to provide access to quality education programmes.”

Ms Bernasconi and Mr Falcy highlighted the approaches of two EAA co-funded projects in Côte D’Ivoire. These two EAC partner projects illustrated how financial burdens can be alleviated for local communities in two different ways tailored to the specific circumstances on the ground. Speakers concluded that poverty alleviation is possible, and that despite the challenges of financing education, we must not give up on our promise to the millions of children around the world who remain out of school. There are small and large solutions to address these challenges, and practical action on the ground, at local level, is a good starting point. This must be mirrored by efforts on the national and international level.

Nick Burnett, Managing Director of Results for Development, said,

When it comes to education, there are a lot of things that are clear and one thing that is not. The economic benefit of education, the scale of the out of school problem, the goal, costs and consequences of not educating children are all well understood. What is less clear is how to finance education for all.”