GCE-US Calls on President Obama to Make Education a Development Priority

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GCE-US Calls on President Obama to Make Education a Development Priority

June 29, 2010 | | News | GCE-US

June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the President’s views on a new approach to development outlined at the recent G8 Summit in Canada, the Global Campaign for Education - U.S. today released the following statement:

“We could not agree more with the president that development is a ‘moral, strategic, and economic imperative for the United States.’ We also agree that underscoring country ownership, strengthening multilateral abilities, and working with conflict-affected countries is essential to an effective development strategy. 

“However, failure to include education as part of the White House development strategy not only defies logic, it stands counter to the president’s pledge to support a Global Fund for Education. Investing in education is a prerequisite and a launching pad for ensuring success across all development sectors – the very definition of country ownership.

“We strongly encourage the president to include basic education as a centerpiece of the plan he committed to bring to the Millennium Development Goal Summit, including keeping his promise of a multilateral Global Fund for Education.

“The facts speak for themselves. Each additional year of schooling reduces a boy’s risk of becoming involved in conflict by 20 percent. Each year of schooling increases a girl’s earning potential by at least 15 percent. In sub-Saharan Africa, investing in the education of women can boost agricultural output by 25 percent.

“There are 72 million children currently out of school – more than half of them are girls. More than 40 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is under 18.

“We have a choice – invest in basic education through a Global Fund for Education and improve all key development sectors or abandon yet another generation to growing conflict and poverty. It’s that simple.”

In 2008, as a candidate, President Obama pledged support of a Global Fund for Education. The president is slated soon to issue his new policy directive for development. In addition, he is scheduled to attend the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit in New York, where he pledged to come with a plan for each goal. MDG #2 focuses on securing Education for All by 2015.

The Global Campaign for Education, U.S. Chapter (GCE-US) is a broad-based coalition of faith-based groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), teachers unions, foundations, and think tanks dedicated to ensuring access to quality basic education in developing nations.