As a part of Global Action Week, a Union of Education Norway event embraced this year’s theme of education financing by delving into the issues of commercialisation, results-based financing and tax evasion.
A Union of Education Norway (UEN) seminar, held on behalf of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) in Oslo used Global Action Week’s Fund the Future: Education Rights Now slogan to examine the challenges of education financing.
“We fear that governments lack the tools they need to regulate the education sector, and that especially for-profit provision of education may violate children’s right to an inclusive quality education,” said UEN Vice President Terje Skyvulstad during his opening remarks.
The seminar centred on a panel discussion, which concentrated on the three main areas, included Kristin Clemet, director of the liberal think tank Civita and member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education, Olav Seim, Policy Director Education Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Haldis Holst, Deputy General Secretary, Education International (EI).
Although there was a strong commitment from all to work to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all, there were differences in opinion as to the role of for-profit actors in the education sector.
Sharing the view of others, Holst was disappointed that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry wouldn’t take a clear stand against using low fee private schools as a way of achieving free equitable and quality education for all. Fees are the opposite of free.
“In order to make education free and accessible to all our governments must invest in strengthening public education, instead of making those with the least pay for the chance to go to school,” said Holst.
Although there was broad agreement that result-based financing is a challenging concept within education, “It is important that if result indicators are used, they must cover many aspects and be relevant for the country where they are used. Financing is a powerful incentive,” she said.