Education is important to me. Following a 35-year career as a school teacher in the states, I spent a couple years working in a small school in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. The contrast between my years at Washington Middle School in Missoula and the upper primary school in an African township could not have been more stark.
The youth in Missoula go on to high school and college. The children in the township go nowhere. For most of these children, who are just as bright, curious and clever as the middle schoolers I taught in Missoula, there is simply no more formal education. For most, the future will be one of poverty and disease.
Around the world, a staggering 263 million children and youth are out of school. These children have no hope for control over their future. They will not be able to become teachers or engineers or electricians.
Education is transformational for the community as well as the individual. Studies have suggested that achieving universal primary and secondary education in the adult population would help to lift more than 420 million out of poverty, reducing the number of poor worldwide by more than half. (Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO, 2017.)
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Since 2011 the United States has invested in the Global Partnership for Education. The Global Partnership for Education works collaboratively and strategically with key stakeholders — donor governments, developing country partners, and philanthropic and private sector donors — to invest in education.
The overwhelming share of investment in education for children and youth comes from the governments in the affected countries themselves. Donor financing helps to bridge the remaining gaps. U.S. support will be critical to leveraging additional leadership from other countries in early 2018 when the pledge is made to replenish the Global Partnership for Education funding.
Currently, Resolutions are circulating in the House (House Resolution 466) and the Senate (Senate Resolution 286), garnering signatures in support of replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education. Contact U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, and ask them to sign on to these resolutions and give their support to the Global Partnership for Education.