Education for blogpost

On the evening of the 2nd of April, RESULTS held a conference call as a part of April’s monthly action. This months action is to ensure the GPE secures full replenishment for the upcoming 2015-2018 calendar years. April’s action calls on advocates to write to their local MP and ask them to contact Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development, calling on her to make an early pledge of £525 million to the GPE, securing 25% of its total funding. The UK has been a crucial player in global education as the largest donor to education for a number of years, pledging 25% of GPE’s total funding in the past. An ambitious pledge from the UK government to the GPE will inspire other donors and can change the lives and give opportunities to millions of children around the globe.

This month’s conference call features speaker Chernor Bah, a lead youth advocate for Global Education and girl’s education as well as a former refugee from Sierra Leone. He is a Youth Engagement Coordinator for A World at School and serves as the youth representative on the High-Level Steering committee for the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative and as Chair of the Youth Advocacy Group. Chernor is an advocate for the education rights of children affected by emergencies. Chernor is also the leader and founder of Sierra Leone’s children parliament, the Children’s Forum Network. Since founding the Children’s forum Network, Chernor has worked with youth in emergency settings leading efforts to shape their voices in development and policy processes. By providing mentorship, tools, and support, Chernor mobilizes the youth and gets them involved in policy discussion. He has committed his life to education declaring it “the most valuable right that will prevent conflict and help a country grow.” Chernor holds a MA in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Sierra Leone.

Recently the GPE has focused on children who receive the lowest quality of education: girls, disabled children, and those from conflict effected countries. War has had a long lasting negative impact on Sierra Leone and its education system. Leading up to the war 70-80% of school aged children were not in school. Following the war, the already inadequate school buildings were destroyed, leaving nowhere for children to gather to learn. This has resulted in an overall poor quality of education for the children of Sierra Leone. In the past the GPE has helped Sierra Leone and other African States. Globally, education is grossly underfunded; the current challenge in education is mainly lack of financing. Teachers trained in Sierra Leone often leave the country in times of conflict, leaving the children without guidance. On the call, Chernor suggested that the solution to this problem is for the GPE to put in and fund a proposal to incentivise teachers to stay. Keeping the teachers happy and in the country is the key to providing education to the youth.

Chernor praises the GPE as a partnership that encourages coordination across different sectors. It is essential to coordinate all partners that have an impact on education in a country to produce a national education plan. This is a global challenge that the GPE has proven to be a leader in, providing a partnership model for coordinating all partners behind a nationally lead education plan. Dan Jones of RESULTS UK spoke of the GPE, DFID, the Tanzanian ministry of education, the Swedish aid agency, and representatives from civil society in Tanzania working together to improve education in Tanzania.

The benefits of education are endless. For every year a woman spends in school, it increases her lifespan and improves her health and overall livelihood.  Chernor maintains that “we cannot tackle poverty or any of the big issues we have around the world if we don’t have education.” Education is truly priceless as it prepares an individual for life. With the UK as a strong partner with GPE the Education for All campaign will be a success. Click here to download the call.