Education International
Education International

UNESCO: close the financing gap in education and end gender-based violence

published 11 March 2015 updated 30 March 2015

In its latest reports, UNESCO calls for the need to adequately finance education to ensure quality education for all, and sounds the alarm on school-related gender-based violence.

Cost of key post?2015 education targets

In a report released today, “Pricing the right to education: The cost of reaching new targets by 2030”, shows that there is an annual financing gap of US $22 billion over the 2015 to 2030 period in terms of reaching good quality universal pre?primary, primary, and lower secondary education in low and lower middle income countries.

The annual total cost is projected to increase from US$100 billion in 2012 to US$239 billion, on average, over the 15-year span. The total cost is on pace to more than triple in low income countries. Those are among key findings from the EFA GMR analysis of the cost of meeting key targets of the post?2015 education agenda.

Also, to improve education quality as envisaged in the post-2015 agenda, spending per student will need to increase substantially. For example, low income countries will need to increase the amount they spend per primary school student from US$65 to US$199 by 2030.

Girls’ right to a safe, inclusive and quality education undermined at school

In its policy paper focusing on primary and secondary education, “School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is preventing the achievement of quality education for all,” UNESCO argues that SRGBV is a global concern preventing children, especially girls, from exercising their right to a safe, inclusive, and quality education.

It calls for a systematic and harmonised approach to identify, monitor, and understand SRGBV, as well as strong policy interventions to develop targeted solutions to address the problem effectively.

Evidence indicates that SRGBV affects millions of children and adolescents worldwide. It is one of the worst manifestations of gender discrimination and violates a wide range of children’s rights. Education is critical to empowering and transforming the lives of young people, especially girls, yet widespread gender-based violence in and around schools seriously undermines the achievement of quality, inclusive and equitable education for all children.

International commitments

Recommendations are proposed to secure commitments and collaboration from global and national education stakeholders, including governments, ministries of educations, and donors.

The report is calling for SRGBV to be clearly recognised in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals framework, and should be included in efforts to achieve equity in education targets.

“Schools are the place where SRGBV occurs, but they are also the place where it can stop,” the paper stresses. Schools should be learning environments where social norms and gender inequalities are challenged and transformed, including attitudes and practices condoning violence.

The report was jointly released this month by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), UNESCO, and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative at the 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, USA.