Belgium and “Global Partnership for Education” work together on gender equality in education

Alexander De Croo & Julia Gillard

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister  of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has met today with Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and current chairwoman of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The next four years, Belgium will release 26 million euros for the GPE, a multilateral mechanism that focusses on access to primary and secondary education.
Alexander De Croo and Julia Gillard called attention to the important role of education in the context of the 4th industrial revolution and the need to improve gender equality in education. Alexander De Croo: “The right to education is a human right. Without access to proper education, we will never succeed in banning extreme poverty. Certainly now, while the 4th industrial revolution is reaching worldwide cruising speed, the role of education cannot be underestimated. Every industrial revolution goes hand in hand with a revolution in education. Also for the most vulnerable people, education must ensure that the new economy leads to new chances for personal development.

Substantial progress

In recent years, substantial progress has been made on the field of access to education. Nine out of ten children in developing countries are now enrolled in school. Still, a great deal of work remains to be done. In developing countries 60 million children still lack access to primary schooling, more than half of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, when it comes to quality of education more progress is needed over the next years. Hundred million young people cannot read or write, 60% of them are girls.
Access to quality education and lifelong learning is one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. This access must be equal for boys and girls. By 2030 all gender differences in education must be gone. This is crucial. If we want girls to take their lives in their own hands later on, they should get the same educational opportunities as boys," Alexander De Croo said.

Belgian support of 26 million euros

In order to achieve this, Belgium supports the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a multilateral mechanism for funding primary and secondary education. Altogether, our country contributes 26 million euros to the GPE for the period 2017-2020. With this support, the GPE provides technical and financial support in setting up national education systems. The GPE consists of more than 50 developing countries and a series of bilateral, multilateral and international institutions.