Global Action week 2008 is here
This year we have encouraged the scholar community to make a big puzzle with all the necessary pieces with the aim to achieve education for all. We have made the puzzles during the events that have taken place in Spain and afterwards we have given them to the responsible politicians together with our requests to remind them about their commitments. In this way, we have joined to the simultaneous global mobilization to remind that there are still million people without access to a quality education for various reasons: personal circumstances (such as disability), ethnic identity, gender, armed conflicts, geographical location, etc.
What does GCE request during the Global Action Week 2008? Challenges and proposals.
One of the main challenges that the International Community must solve in order to achieve the Millennium and Dakar Goals in 2015 is to reach the necessary financial resources for the basic education for all.
In GCE we believe that to achieve a global quality education for all, specially for excluded groups, it is necessary:
- A specific commitment of the South countries related to their education budgets.
- An annual and predictable commitment of North governments related to Official Development Assistance (ODA) in education, in order to finance the national educative plans of the Governments in the South and particularly to get decent salaries for the teachers.
- The possibility for the civil society and parliaments of being able to demand to their respective governments about their commitments and responsibilities related to expenses fulfilment.
- To eliminate obstacles that prevent resources from reaching those who need them most as:
- The terms that international bodies impose to the governments in the South, that impede in many cases the finance of the teachers´ salaries.
- Measures related to external debt, which involve a heavy burden for the most impoverished governments in the world what have repercussions on education promotion.
- The failure to comply with governments from the North countries' commitment of achieving as soon as possible the 0,7% for ODA.
For these reasons, the specific proposals of the Global Campaign for Education are:
To the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation:
1. To increase its financial commitment on basic education through the following actions:
- To allocate at least the 8% of the Official Development Assistance to this sector, as it was unanimously recommended in the House of Parliament by the International Cooperation Committee via a Bill passed on 30/11/06.
- To further promote the exchange of debt for education and other basic social services and to change the fact that their implementation is subject to the purchase of goods and services of Spanish origin as prescribed by the Law on External Debt Management.
- To carry on with the supporting commitment for Fast-track Initiative (FTI) and to increase the Spanish participation to improve the impact of this initiative.
2. To respect and support the national policies and the programmes of the developing countries which give priority to the teachers‘ training and living conditions improvements, a key point in education. Particularly, the possibility of temporarily finance of the salary expenses in countries whit this specific need should be proposed.
3. To suppress conditions on assistance, so that it is not subject to Spanish commercial interests and so that the purchase of Spanish goods and services is not imposed upon citizens. This compromise implies that the imposition (direct or via organizations like the IMF) of other kind of conditions bound to internal policies or of a macroeconomic sort, which could have a negative impact on goals such as a rise in teachers' wages or higher investments in education and other social services, should be rejected.
4. To guarantee the long term assistance in a predictive way, so that the developing countries could foresee and plan the implementation of their education policies.
To the developing countries:
- Ensure that 20% of national budgets and 6% GNI are allocated to education 6% and abolish all fees and charges in education.
- Include specific measures to make that education change the situation of the marginalized and excluded sectors.
- Introduce policies and practices to achieve in and through education the gender equality
- Include specific measures to improve quality of education
To the International institutions:
- To ensure that all developing countries that have a Plan of Education for All, in accordance with the Dakar commitments, are given the support of the EFA Fast-Track Initiative (FTI), specially the 60 low-income countries.
- The World Bank should ensure that its lending is aligned with the EFA-FTI principles of supporting one country, one sector, one plan with predictable harmonised.
- The IMF should drop fiscal policies such as the imposition of public sector wage caps, which prevent countries from increasing domestic spending on Education For All and other internal expenses of developing countries.