Despite education being a human right, millions of children still cannot attend school. In crisis-contexts, education is usually the first service to go, and the last one to resume. As a result, children who live in fragile and conflict-affected countries and regions disproportionately lack access to education. Gender inequality within education is also substantial – twice as many girls as boys of primary school age will never go to school and only 29% of countries have achieved gender parity at the upper secondary level.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 emphasizes the need for inclusive and quality education for all. The impact of investing in quality and inclusive education is significant as education has been seen to have a positive multiplier effect in other areas of life. For example, girls who remain in school have higher incomes and labour force participation, are more likely to marry later, less likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth, likelier to have healthier children and more likely to send their own children to school.
The legacy of Canadian education funding:
- On June 27, Canada pledged CAD$5.5 million to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) in response to the growing education crisis caused by the pandemic.
- Canada pledged CAD$180 million between 2018-2020 to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to help the most vulnerable children in the poorest countries get a quality education.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau includes in International Development Minister Gould’s Mandate letter a call for Canada to “Lead an international campaign to ensure that all refugee and displaced children can get the education they need and deserve”.