WASHINGTON, D.C. –In recognition of World Teacher’s Day, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a resolution supporting U.S. efforts – including efforts through the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – to improve access to quality education for the poorest and most marginalized children and youth worldwide. As the world celebrates the contributions of teachers, educators’ expertise, nurturing, and dedication will be key to achieving the 2030 Education Agenda goal of universal primary and secondary education for all children.
“Our shared goal must be making sure every child receives a quality education, regardless of where they are born,” Booker said. “I am proud to join with Senator Rubio to highlight the Senate’s bipartisan commitment to ensuring the United States remains a global leader in mobilizing the resources and diplomatic support for basic education. “
The bipartisan resolution affirms U.S. leadership and commitment to access to quality education for children worldwide, supports the mission of the Global Partnership for Education, recognizes that U.S. investments in basic education are complemented by GPE’s efforts, and encourages increased commitments by the U.S. and other donors to ensure children throughout the world attend school and gain the education and skills they need to succeed.
Today some 263 million children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17 are currently out of school, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report found that sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest out-of-school rates for all age groups and over half of the 61,000,000 out-of-school children of primary school age live in sub-Saharan Africa. With youth comprising a disproportionate percentage of the population across sub-Saharan Africa, quality education is necessary to ensure the next generation of young people is prepared to build their societies.
Even among the millions of kids currently attending school, there are wide disparities in educational access. Too often young girls never enroll in schools or are forced to drop out of school early, creating a gender gap that haunts countries’ economic development. In addition, children in areas afflicted by conflict like Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Syria, and Pakistan are disproportionately affected by school closures and displacement that can create a ‘lost generation' of children.
Fortunately, extensive research has made clear that increased investments in basic education help to improve economic opportunities and income, prevent adolescent pregnancy, and increase life expectancy and health outcomes. U.S. leadership and investments in developing countries' basic education programs have led to countless notable improvements around the world, including 72 million more children attending primary school since 2002, according to the GPE.
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), established in 2002, is a multi-stakeholder partnership and funding platform that helps to strengthen education systems in developing countries to increase the number of children who are in school and learning. The GPE brings together developing countries, donors, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector and foundations. The United States has contributed over $198 million dollars to the GPE since joining.