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Regional News of Friday, 23 July 2021

Source: Africa Education Watch

Commitments to education financing during the upcoming global education summit – 28th, 29th July 2021

The global education summit will come off on 28th and 29th July 2021 The global education summit will come off on 28th and 29th July 2021

As you are no doubt aware, the Global Education Summit: Financing GPE 2021-2025, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya will take place on the 28th and 29th of July 2021.

A key moment for the global community to come together and support quality education for all children, this event will see critical decisions being made regarding the financing of education worldwide.

The Global Partnership for Education is expecting to obtain donor pledges amounting to $5 billion for its replenishment and see Developing Country Partners make bold commitments to financing education through domestic resources. The latter is critical to sustainability and reducing dependency on dwindling external aid, especially in the current economic context

We are aware that H.E. President Akuffo Addo has received communication from His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta to endorse a Political Statement on domestic financing of education and that your Ministry has also by now received a letter from the CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, Alice Albright requesting commitments on domestic financing of education.

It is with this background Honorable Minister, that we would like to call on your office to:

1.. Liaise with H.E. President Akuffo Addo to ensure the endorsement of the political statement by the Government of Ghana as soon as possible to show Ghana’s commitment to addressing the issues outlined in the statement.

2.Make ambitious and measurable commitments to education financing at the Global Education Summit. These may include committing to:

• safeguarding education expenditure to pre-COVID levels

• increasing domestic financing of education towards the 20% global benchmark and beyond

• establish and implement policies to ensure that no child is left behind • ensure the efficient and equitable use of resources.

It is critical that education is prioritized in public expenditure enabled by the freed-up funds and new liquidity from debt relief initiatives and a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights when secured.

3. Commit to actions aimed at increasing domestic tax revenues in progressive ways in order to generate sustainable resources for investment in education and other critical public services. Clear commitments to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio through progressive measures (e.g. taxing the wealthiest individuals and companies) can dramatically transform the resources available for education and constitute effective and measurable commitments to increase the share of national budgets allocated to education.

4. Commit to resist any pressure for a premature return to austerity. The squeezing of public finances significantly affects education spending, perhaps most notably when constraints are placed on the overall public sector wage bill. Teachers are often the largest single group on the wage bill so any cuts or freezes can disproportionately impact education spending. The IMF advice in this area is increasingly discredited and flawed and should be resisted. Investment in the frontline public sector workforce and in quality public services can actively contribute to a post.

COVID-19 recovery and economic growth. Specific commitments to increase the public sector wage bill spent on teachers – whether to address teacher shortages or improve teacher training, pay, and conditions – can count as key domestic financing commitments.

5. Engage the Minister of Finance who will be expected to give a final sign-off on any commitments - particularly in respect of commitments to expand tax revenues and resist a return to austerity.

We would be happy to have a meeting with you at any time in the coming weeks to discuss these issues and look forward to hearing from you.

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