As we watch our children head off for the start of another school year, we should pause and consider the state of education in the rest of the world.
While Canadians enjoy one of the best education systems that exist, globally 57 million children of primary school age still remain out of school; that’s almost twice the population of Canada denied a future.
The Global Partnership for Education is the only multilateral partnership that exists to help bring down that appalling number.
Over the last decade, it has put an additional 23 million children in school, trained 413,000 teachers and constructed more than 37,000 classrooms for boys and girls. Canada helps fund this program and these numbers are an example of Canadian tax dollars making a big difference.
But the numbers are still sobering: globally, 66 million girls are not offered any schooling at all. When girls get an education, they are six times less likely to be married off as children, and have 2.2 fewer children.
For every extra additional year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25 per cent.
The Global Partnership for Education is slated for funding renewal and it’s imperative our federal government increases its contribution.
During the past funding round, the Global Partnership achieved barely half of its needs, resulting in another lost generation.
Compared to the economic return, the cost of educating children is small, and girls especially need our help to bring much needed changes to backward and illiterate communities.
Education is a human right and Canada can help make that possible.