EFA survey report to be released today at a world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, recommends that private organisations should align support with government priorities and countries’ needs
The Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2012, Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work, published in October, is being released in time for the world economic forum taking place in Davos today.
The paper highlights that the private sector’s contributions to education in Africa are inadequate. Current private contributions to education in developing countries, totalling Sh58 billion ($683 million) a year, are equivalent to only five per cent of all aid to education. The private sector, which benefits from an educated and skilled workforce, should reportedly take a much bigger role in funding education worldwide.
The new policy paper shows how little education receives compared with other private sector contributions to development; 53 per cent of US foundations’ grants are allocated to health but only eight per cent to education.
Pauline Rose, director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report, says, “ Education doesn’t have a high-profile supporter like Bill Gates encouraging other private organisations to contribute. The private sector shouldn’t need to be told the importance of investing in education, but it does need someone to champion its cause and remind them that they are one of the first to benefit from an educated, skilled workforce.”
In 2011, total development aid decreased for the first time since 1997; aid to education is now expected to stagnate until 2015 despite a funding gap of more than Sh1 trillion ($16 billion) a year just to send all children to pre-primary and primary school. Progress towards EFA goals, which is impossible without funding, has now slowed, with less than three years to go until the deadline.
“For political and business leaders gathered at Davos, our message is simple: As populations grow, if funding continues to stagnate, the world will end up with more children out of school than today – exactly as we are already seeing in sub-Saharan Africa. Companies must recognise what a good case for investment this is: If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, poverty would fall by 12 per cent and that’s good for business,” she adds.
Most ICT companies direct their contributions to emerging markets rather than the poorest countries.