First International Day of Education

Education: Quality, Policy, Financing

Education ‘an Engine for Poverty Eradication, Force for Peace’, Says Secretary-General in Message Marking International Day
23 January 2019
Today we celebrate the first International Day of Education. Education transforms lives. As United Nations Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai once said: “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

Long before I served at the United Nations or held public office in my own country, I was a teacher. In the slums of Lisbon, I saw that education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace.
Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. We need education to reduce inequalities and improve health. We need education to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage. We need education to protect our planet’s resources. And we need education to fight hate speech, xenophobia and intolerance, and to nurture global citizenship.

Yet, at least 262 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school, most of them girls. Millions more who attend school are not mastering the basics.

This is a violation of their human right to education. The world cannot afford a generation of children and young people who lack the skills they need to compete in the twenty-first century economy, nor can we afford to leave behind half of humanity…


World Bank, Gates Foundation, DFID Join Forces to Improve Education Quality Around the World
LONDON, January 21, 2019 – The World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK’s Department for International Development today announced a new partnership that will develop tools governments can use to better monitor the quality of their education systems, allowing policymakers to take real-time decisions to ensure that all children are learning. This collaboration will advance the goals of the Human Capital Project, a global effort to accelerate more and better investments in people for greater equity and economic growth.

The multi-year partnership, which was announced during the Education World Forum in London, will provide countries with an integrated system for tracking the how well education is delivered and how well countries are progressing toward their policy goals. The World Bank will take the lead on developing the new tools under a multidimensional Global Education Policy Dashboard, working together with education and governance experts from around the world. The Dashboard will soon be tested in 13 countries and it will be progressively expanded to more countries.

“All children should have the right to learn how to read and write so they have the voice and skills needed to advocate a better and prosperous future for themselves and their communities. UK aid is making sure millions of children around the world can access 12 years of quality education, to help them reach their potential and help lift their countries out of poverty,” said Penny Mordaunt, the UK’s International Development Secretary and Human Capital Champion. “Our innovative partnership with the World Bank and Gates Foundation will help governments analyze evidence to show why children aren’t developing these essential skills and recognize what interventions they can put in place to improve their education systems and invest in their most important assets – their own people,” she added…

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Education Finance: Using Money Effectively is Critical to Improving Education
Assisting countries to make better use of their investments in education is a key priority of our work on education finance.
Date: January 21, 2019 Type: Brief: Education Finance (pdf)
Developing countries are investing heavily in their education systems and providing their children and youth with unprecedented levels of access to education. But it’s still not enough. Achieving national education goals will require additional financial commitments over the coming years. No less important is ensuring that these resources are used effectively by reducing spending inefficiencies common in many education systems. Funds may not be reaching schools, spending decisions may not be aligned with learning objectives, and government agencies may lack the capacity to use funds efficiently. Countries need to solve these problems if they are to provide the educational opportunities their populations demand in a financially feasible and sustainable way.