A report launched this week by the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity has shown that 1.5 billion adults will have no education beyond primary school in 2030.
The situation has been called “the civil rights struggle of our generation” by Gordon Brown.
Brown, who currently heads the international commission on financing global education opportunity, described the situation as a ticking time bomb that could lead to widespread protests and unrest in the future, the Guardian reports.
According to the commission’s findings, which were presented at the United Nations in New York last Sunday, almost half of the world’s children will face growing up without an adequate education.
Brown stressed at the UN meeting that $30 billion in additional funding was needed if the goal of ensuring every child receives a full primary education and secondary education by 2030 is to be reached. At the meeting, Brown said:
“This is the civil rights struggle of our generation. At the moment we are betraying half our future. A timebomb is ticking. These young children denied an education will be a source of massive discontent in years to come.
The gap between what they have been promised and what is actually delivered will be so great that it will cause Arab springs and Occupy movements in the next generation if we fail to act.”
Brown also called for governments to spend a greater proportion of their international aid on education projects, whilst also stressing the gravity of the situation. The implications of failing to deal with the issue, he said, were so serious that the commission was calling for the UN secretary general to make an annual report to the security council on violations of children’s rights that have an adverse effect on child education.
The financial global education opportunity commission’s report, The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World, sets out a four stage plan that includes a call for increased government spending.
UNICEF have weighed in on the crisis by backing the recommendations made for increased education spending. A statement from the organization calls for “an increase in national education expenditure from 3 per cent to 5 per cent to help address what could be a global education crisis.” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake made the following comments:
“Every child, in every country, in every neighbourhood, in every household, has the right not only to a seat in a classroom, but to a quality education – starting in the early years of life, the single most important stage of brain development.
We need to invest early, invest in quality, and invest in equity – or pay the price of a generation of children condemned to grow up without the knowledge and skills they need to reach their potential.”
The International Commission on Financing Global Education is a major global initiative aimed at achieving equal educational opportunity for children and young people. The report draws from a year’s worth of analysis from over 30 research institutions and consultations from 105 countries.