FEEDBACK – HI at the 3rd Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference

Posted by: on Feb 5, 2018 | No Comments

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference was held on February 2 in Dakar. HI was mobilized for the event.

Indeed, the systematic neglect of children with disabilities is one of the most glaring oversights both in domestic and international education financing.
The main goal of the conference, co-hosted by President Macron and President Sall,  was to find more investment. It was for the purposes of  accelerating system-wide changes that embrace inclusion and the provision of support to meet the individual needs of learners with disabilities. Indeed, there are at least 97 children with disabilities worldwide and one in three, are out of school. There is a global learning crisis since at the current rate of funding and resourcing all school aged children will only be in school by the end of the century. Additionnaly, the Sustainable Development Goal 4 won’t be realised by 2030.

Humanity and Inclusion remains a key champion and advocate in this fight

Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development (DFID) in the UK, announced a doubling of UK real term commitments to $225 million over 3 years. Although this fell short of expectations, the Secretary pledged a specific commitment for education of children with disabilities. Indeed, the issue of education for children with disabilities is one of the three pillars of DFID’s new education policy, launched at the conference.

In total, donors pledged $2,3 billion for 2018-2020 compared to only $1,3 billion for 2015-2017.

Moreover, some donors promise to increase their bilateral funding to education too. Others such as the European Commission, Norway, Canada, France and a new donor, The United Arab Emirates have made strong commitments to education.  It is great news because it will go some way towards supporting the current 300 million out of school children around the world.

Speakers who made the difference during the IDDC panel on education financing for children disabilities

Francois Manga, Sign language interpreter, Marijke Delau ( Mand E advisor for IE, West Africa), Julia McGeown IE TA, Monique Grenouille ( youth representative , who is deaf), Francesca Piatta ( regional coordinator for IE, West Africa)

Julia McGeown, Inclusive Education Technical Advisor, alongside Kari Hauge Riison, the special envoy for development policy for Norway, wanted to highlight the issue of disabilities. The idea was to raise the interest of the audience by engaging them in a debate.

Monique, a youth Senegalese speaker, who is deaf and uses sign language  was also welcomed to give her own experience. A testimony to how inclusive education can work for children in Senegal and what her own recommendations are. During the conference the girl highlighted that her sisters attend a school supported by Humanity and Inclusion.  She was also invited to speak on a panel alongside the assistant DG for Education for UNESCO, senior minister for education (South Soudan), CEO of plan international and the Irish minister for international development. This ensured that the issue of inclusive education for children with disabilities was a real highlight of the day. Julia Gillard, GPE board chair and Alice Albright ( CEO of GPE) both acknowledged the importance of a renewed focus on children with disabilities.