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If we’re going to get 58 million children into school, the status quo is not enough

Today, at the World Education Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea, the Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, Julia Gillard, urged global leaders, governments and private donors, civil society and the private sector as well as developing countries to take bold steps to secure the financing needed to achieve the new education sustainable development goal by 2030. Ms. Gillard said:

"We need to be audacious to address the enormous challenges we face. With 58 million children still not in primary school and the desire to lift ambition to achieve more years of better quality education for all, business as usual is nowhere near enough. We need to not only aim higher but we must be bolder on financing and embracing better ways of working to achieve our shared goals.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Monitoring Report, there is an estimated annual funding gap of $22 billion USD. This is the level of new funding that experts say is required to achieve quality, universal pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education for every child by 2030.

The ambitious goal of getting the 58 million children into primary school, and to lift the standard of education will only succeed if world leaders are serious about financing this goal.

We know that investing in education is one of the best returns on investment because it significantly increases the earning capacity of a country’s population. There is no better example than the Republic of Korea, which once was a donor-recipient country, and is now a country hosting important forums such as the World Education Forum, a milestone event that brings together over 100 education ministers, teachers, experts, and the private sector from 150 countries.

We know that developing countries get the positive impact that education can have on a country’s growth. Last year, GPE developing country partners collectively pledged a massive $26 billion USD between 2015 and 2018. Some developed countries have made some great acts of leadership, too, such as Denmark. It will take every nation getting involved to reach the 58 million students out of school.

Watch this space to find out more on how the world is making progress towards this goal!