Must Try Harder: A 'school report' on 22 rich countries' aid to basic education in developing countries

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How, we asked ourselves, would the 22 rich country leaders fare if we examined their performance on their promise to provide the aid needed for every child to get an education? Right now, over 100 million children do not have access to any form of education. Rich countries, including the UK, are failing to deliver the aid needed to provide education for all. Without immediate action from rich countries, the goal of education for all children by 2015 will not be met, and millions of the world's poorest children will be denied the education they deserve.
  Must Try Harder A ‘School Report’ on 22 rich countries’ aid tobasic education in developing countries Global Campaign for Education November 2003  E    T     D   U   C    E   S    N    A T   I  O   N  U   M  E  D  U  C  A  N   D   I  S   U   N   T  A ‘school report’on 22 rich countries’aid tobasic education in developing countries. How,we asked ourselves,would the 22 rich country leaders fare ifweexamined their performance on their promise to provide the aid needed for every child to get an education?Leaders in developing countries are often subject to all sorts oftargets andstandards set down by rich countries.So we – a coalition ofdevelopmentorganisations,civil society networks,and teachers’unions from across theworld – decided to turn the tables,and write a ‘school report’on richcountries’aid to basic education.We set up an independent research teamto grade each country according to the quantity and quality oftheir aid.The results shocked us.Sadly,the general standards ofmost richcountries are terrible,and the contrast between rhetoric and reality isstaggering.However,we are happy to report that a few countries,such asthe Netherlands,do well.They prove,by their example,that rich countriescan meet the grade.The figures we used to make our assessment are taken from data suppliedby rich countries themselves to the Organisation for Economic Cooperationand Development (OECD).The tests we applied are based on principles of effective development partnership that all 22 countries claim to uphold:anoverall aid level that meets the internationally agreed target;a fair contribution to financing basic education;a focus on the poorest countries;‘untying aid’– i.e.not demanding that aid is spent on your country’sproducts and personnel;and a real commitment to a global solution to thecrisis in basic education.The methods we have used to calculateperformance are not the only ones that can be used,but they are objectiveand have been applied in the same way to all countries.(A full account isgiven at the back ofthe report.) Ofcourse,our ratings are only as good asthe data on which they are based.In a few cases,incomplete data maymean that some countries scored a lower mark on specific tests than theyreally deserve.However,they have no one but themselves to blame – full and accurate reporting on commonly agreed aid indicators is countries’own responsibility,and is itselfa crucial step towards improving aideffectiveness.Lack ofreliable data also meant that we could not cover allofthe dimensions ofaid performance that we would have liked to:for example,we could not find good measures ofcoordination amongstdonors,or ofcommitment to gender equity.We’ve tried to express the results in a medium that is fun,and easy tounderstand.It is,at times however,impossible to avoid jargon,so we haveincluded a handy glossary at the back ofthe book.This report is published after a decade in which promises have beenbroken,remade and rebroken;in which aid has declined,debt reliefhasbeen delayed,and donor countries have failed to join forces with poor countries (or even with each other) through a properly funded globalframework to tackle the education financing crisis.Throughout this time,the public in each ofthe rich countries have been told by their governments that their country is the model ofgenerosity.This report tellsthe real story and highlights what needs to be done – but its impactdepends on citizens everywhere demanding their governments keep their promises to the world’s children.As the ‘school motto’we chose for thecover ofthis report says,‘World leaders need educating too.’We hope youenjoy the report.We hope that you are motivated to take action afterwards.Please visit our website at to find out more.The Global Campaign for Education © Global Campaign for Education 20035 bd.du Roi Albert IIB-1210,Brussels,BelgiumTelephone:+32 (0)2 224 Contents Country Rankings...................................1 A letter from the Board ofExaminersto the leaders ofrich countries...............2Report Cards..........................................4Overall grades,marks and positions.....26Why the 22 rich countries needto meet the internationallyrecognised aid target............................28Why the 22 rich countries needto provide a fair share ofthefunding required to achieveEducation for All...................................30Why it is important that the 22 richcountries should focus their effortson the poorest countries.......................32Why the 22 rich countries shouldput poor people before narrowself-interest by untying aid....................34Why the 22 rich countries shoulddemonstrate their commitment toa global solution for funding abasic Education for All..........................36Glossary...............................................38Sources and Calculationsused in the report.................................39Report Team.........................................42Global Campaign for Education Members..............................43    M  u  s   t   T  r  y   H  a  r   d  e  r  Country Rankings How the countries fare in the league table ofsupport for basic education in developing countriesCountryMark (out of100)Grade (A-F)Position (out of22)Netherlands 96A1st Norway 80B2nd Sweden 80B2nd Ireland 60C4th Belgium 60C4th Luxembourg 60C4th Canada 56C7th Denmark 56C7th France 52C9th Switzerland 40D10th Germany 40D10th  Australia 40D10th United Kingdom 36D13th Finland 36D13th Portugal 32D15th Japan 32D15th Spain 24E17th Italy 20E18th  Austria 16E19th United States 12E20th Greece 8F21st New Zealand 4F22nd 1  Dear leaders of rich countries, We ’ d like to think that you know … ...that a child ’ s right to education is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. And that despite this, over 100 million children aroundthe world will still get NO access to education this year. In addition, another 150 million children will not complete their primary education. The children mostlikely to miss out are girls, ethnic minority children, children with disabilities, andchildren in rural areas. We ’ d like to think that you know … ...just how important it is that every girl and boy receives an education. In Zambia,an inter-school quiz organised for 16 different schools by the education NGO,Chronicles, was just one effective way to promote the importance of girls ’  education.Introducing Lavonia Kalutwa –   ‘ Miss Education 2002 ’  from Mufulira BasicSchool, Zambia. Lavonia is now in secondary education. “I think the quiz is very important, because it makes people think about what  girls who are sent to school can do. If I were a teacher I would tell people about educating girls. There are some women teachers in the school and it’s good that  girls see that.” In 2000 you agreed to provide the funds required to eliminate discriminationagainst girls and give all children in the world the opportunity to go to school; butup to now you ’ ve failed to do so, letting down girls like Lavonia.  We’d like to think that when you went to school… didn ’ t have to navigate down narrow alleyways, avoiding rotting piles of rubbish and open drains –  enduring the overpowering stench which is left behind.It is in these very streets, in Ghazi Abad that a local NGO supportedorganisation, Khoj, rents ten rooms from local families to use as makeshift classrooms for all ages. They aren ’ t glamorous, but children and adults alike are gettingan education, and improving their way of life. “ I was a totally illiterate person before I came here. When I started studying,the method of teaching was so good that in very little time I could read and write.The method inspired me and I got to know how one can learn in a short time. Not only could I read and write, but I learned awareness and a lot of information - all in one year. ”“ My parents feel girls should be married; that theyare not like boys who need education. Every month they plan my marriage. They don ’ t help me. I can ’ t talk about my ambitions with them. ” Thousands of schools suffer from these type of conditions –  we know because we work in them. You promised a quality education for all, but that can ’ t be done unless you match rhetoric with money. A letter from the Board ofExaminersto the leaders ofrich countries 2
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