GAWE 2021: EI Africa calls for urgent investment in education and teachers
We call on governments to increase public spending on education and teachers in order to ensure the achievement of the universal right to free quality public education for all.
Public systems are underfunded, education privatisation is expanding and intensifying. Inequalities and exclusion continue to leave rural children, girls, children with disabilities, migrants, refugees, minorities and the vulnerable further behind. More children are dropping out of school especially the disadvantaged, girls, and those with special needs.
Africa, more than ever needs more investment in education, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Teacher shortages continue to increase in order to meet old and new requirements for social distancing. Many teachers in private schools are out of employment or have gone for months without pay. We therefore call on governments to take over these failing private schools and absorb their educators into the public school system.
We also call upon the governments to improve the salaries and working conditions of teachers in the public school system. Immediate measures should be taken to address violations of human and trade union rights at all levels of education.
More investment is needed in technology for digital transformation in order to support teachers to provide more effective face-to-face and blended teaching. It is vitally important to strengthen teacher professional development in order to support educators to meet current and new challenges.
The gaps are very many and the solution lies in adequate financing of education.
During this year’s GAWE and beyond, Education International and its member organisations in Africa and globally advocate for the implementation of the campaign’s top policy recommendations:
- Increase state funding for education to at least 20% of public expenditure.
- Increase the country’s tax base in order to increase resources, working towards a minimum tax-to-GDP ratio of 20%.
- Enable urgent debt cancellation for the least developed countries; and Debt alleviation for middle and upper-middle income countries.
- Ensure inclusive educational systems and institutions.
- Provide free quality public education for all and end the trend towards the privatization and commercialization of education.
- Improve the quality of teaching through adequate recruitment, remuneration and continued teacher training.
- Listen and respond to the voices of those affected. Space must be allowed for educators and their unions, students, parents, and civil society to speak up.
- Developed countries must continue to work towards the goal of 0.7% overseas aid, with 20% of this spent on education, and increasing their contributions to the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait.