By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
Minister of Education, Science and Technology has informed participants and organizers of the Global Partnership for Education Pledging Conference in Brussels that his government will continue to provide scholarships for girls who sit and pass the national Grade 9 examination.
Dr. Minkailu Bah made this pledge at the just concluded GPE pledging conference in Brussels with a firm commitment to develop and implement a comprehensive policy on the education of children with disabilities and expand a comprehensive annual data collection on education that will increase and improve on the availability of education data at the decentralized local level.
Dr. Bah reaffirmed his country’s support for the replenishment push of the GPE by increasing the budgetary allocation on education annually over the next five years. He assured of a greater use of ICT at the school level and will continue to work on increasing the teacher/student contact hours.
At the end of the replenishment conference, the GPE received new pledges of more than US$28.5 billion in additional funding for education of millions of children in more than 60 developing countries.
The conference marked the start of the partnership’s four-year replenishment period.
Hosted by the European Commission, the conference brought together some 800 delegates including more than 40 ministers, education experts and representatives from multilateral organizations, civil society, business and youth leaders from 91 countries.
Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the GPE and former Prime Minister of Australia, said: “We have today secured a record commitment of new funding for education in developing countries around the world. This exceptional result is a vote of confidence in the power of education to lift the lives of millions of children, and is a tribute to far-sighted leadership in our partner countries. No other organization has a partnership structure that has leveraged such substantial funds from developing countries. The Global Partnership for Education provides the long term, systemic support that governments need to build stable and effective education systems.”
Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Development, in his address said: “I am delighted to see all the pledges being made here today, in particular those by our developing country partners, which will help to make a difference to the lives and the futures of millions of children across the world. It’s vital that we continue to work together and step up our efforts to reach the MDGs, and their replacements after 2015. The EU will continue to stand by the GPE on this ongoing journey, to give all children a chance to go to school and receive quality education, no matter where they live. We encourage all donor partners to match the commitments made by partner countries here today.”
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is made up of nearly 60 developing country governments, as well as donor governments, civil society/non-governmental organizations, teachers’ organizations, private sector and foundations, whose joint mission is to galvanize and coordinate a global effort to provide good quality education to children, prioritizing the poorest and most vulnerable. The GPE has allocated US$3.7 billion over the past decade to support education reforms in some of the world’s poorest countries.