March 6, 2016

How much will the new education agenda cost?

Written by GEM Report, UNESCO

Two young girls studying

Lack of adequate finance was among the most significant obstacles to achieving the Education for All goals. With a new education agenda now set in stone, we must not turn our attention to implementation mechanisms that will allow the new targets to be reached.

The analysis covers all low and lower middle income countries, which face the greatest challenges in education provision and are the most likely to need external assistance. This paper shows there is an annual financing gap of US$39 billion over 2015-2030 for reaching universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education of good quality in low and lower middle income countries. It shows that, without a doubt, substantial new investment is needed if the world is to achieve the key education targets in the sustainable development agenda.

Even if rather ambitious assumptions about the growth of domestic expenditure are borne out, external assistance must play a bigger role. Such claims for assistance will be in direct competition with claims by other sectors for their targets. The scale of the challenge is acute and highlights the need to continue lobbying for financing targets to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated.

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