education is one of the most effective and efficient ways to lift people out of poverty and reduce inequality

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.[1]
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.

Key facts on education

  • A child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5.[2]
  • More than half of children and adolescents are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.[3]
  • In crises-contexts education can be lifesaving, protecting children from physical dangers around them (e.g. abuse, exploitation, recruitment into armed groups), and it can help to restore peace and stability. However, in 35 crisis-affected countries, 75 million children between the ages of 3 and 18 are deprived the right to education.[4]
  • Achieving the Global Goal for education by 2030 costs US$1.25 a day per child in developing countries.[5]
  • In low-income countries, less than two thirds of girls (65%) complete their primary education, and only one in three (34.4%) completes lower secondary school.[6]

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”. 

read about the progress on education and the key milestones that have been achieved to date.

  • 2018: Canada led the G7 Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls, and Women in Developing Countries, which was supported by a $3.8 billion global commitment
  • 2018: Canada doubles its funding to the Global Partnership for Education to $180 million providing targeted support for girls education and strengthening education systems in developing countries
  • 2016: Canada pledges $20 million to the newly formed Education Cannot Wait which supports activities to meet the educational needs of crisis affected youth.
  • 2015: Canada pledged $120 million to the Global Partnership for Education and $10 million to UNICEF