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NGOs decry France’s shortcomings in education aid

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Monday, 13 November 2017

NGOs decry France’s shortcomings in education aid

Around 264 million children worldwide don’t go to school. The Education Coalition in France denounces the country’s lack of education focus on development aid programs. EURACTIV France reports. The Education Coalition, uniting 16 civil society organisations, met with Brigitte Macron on Monday (6 November) to discuss the country’s commitment to boosting education abroad. The French president wants to spend 0.7% of the nation’s GDP on development aid by 2030 (and 0.55% by 2022). This means an increase of at least €3 billion. If France allocates 15% of total development aid to education, this would result in €655 million more by 2020. According to Education Coalition, this part needs to be entirely devolved to primary and secondary schooling in low-income countries and fragile states. France’s reputation is at stake: it already ranks badly among donor countries for its expenditure on education, and it doesn’t target its expenditure on the most needy countries or on primary education, which is the priority. Education is the cornerstone of development, by allowing individuals to develop, reach their full economic potential and improve their health, as well as reduce the risk of conflicts and reduce emissions to limit climate change. This is what Coalition Education writes in its recently published new report. All governments agree that development aid remains a necessary part of expenditure. Yet, enthusiasm decreases when it comes to reaching for the wallet. Education-related policies are by their very nature long-term, which does not fit well with politicians’ shorter mandates. Despite its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its educational dimension, the international community is not doing enough, civil society representatives say. The Observatory of French Aid to Education estimates that, at the current rate, “we will have a delay of at least 50 years in the effective implementation of the Global Education Framework for Action”, which aims to achieve education for all by 2030.

Source: www.euractiv.com