In advance of the Global Education Summit 2021, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and the United Kingdom, Commonwealth Partners for Education* launched a virtual roundtable as an official side-event, which is also available on the GE Summit portal.
Watch | Mobilising resources for education: the crucial role of Commonwealth countries
The virtual roundtable was chaired by Hon. Mehnaz Akber Aziz, MNA, Pakistan with panellists including Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General; Dr Sara Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Education in Kenya; Professor Keith Lewin, Emeritus Professor of International Development and Education at the University of Sussex; Pamella McLaren, Adviser and Head of Debt Management Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat; and Dr Musarrat Maisha Reza, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Students Association.
The discussion explored the topic, ‘Mobilising resources for education: the crucial role of Commonwealth countries’ and focused on the development of resilient education systems and the importance of increasing domestic finance budgets toward education. The roundtable also considered the scope for innovative parallel resource mobilisation from communities and the private sector, as well as external resources, to benefit low and middle income Commonwealth countries. Panellists said that it was fundamental that recovery post COVID-19 led to building sustainably stronger education systems that could withstand future shocks.
In summarising the discussion, the panellists were asked what they hoped the Global Education Summit would deliver for Commonwealth member countries. They said:
“I hope delegates at the Summit will all commit to replenish the fund so that we have the money we vitally need to fulfil the aspirations we have committed ourselves to.”
Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General
“I hope for the countries whose systems of education still need developing, they will commit at least 20% of their budgets to education.”
Dr Sara Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Education in Kenya
“I hope the replenishment is successful and that the way in which the system is financed, becomes self-sustaining."
Professor Keith Lewin, Emeritus Professor of International Development and Education at the University of Sussex
"I hope the Summit looks to achieving debt sustainability as a crucial first step to free up resources for strengthening the education system".
Pamella McLaren, Adviser and Head of Debt Management Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat
“I hope that governments will partner with young people and students at decision-making tables as we have the capacity to work and engage fully on this.”
Dr Musarrat Maisha Reza, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Students Association
Hosted by the UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Boris Johnson and Kenyan President, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, the Global Education Summit: Financing GPE 2021-2025, will take place from 28 – 29 July 2021 in the UK.
*Commonwealth Partners for Education are: Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Commonwealth Consortium for Education (CCfE), Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Commonwealth Secretariat (CS), Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC), International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd).