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EFANet urges gov’t to increase education budget to meet global target

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By Olimatou Coker

Kebba Omar Jajursey, national coordinator of EFANet, has urged the government of The Gambia to consider increasing the size of the education budget to meet the global and continental target of 20% of the domestic financing.

Jarjusey made these remarks on Saturday during the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2022 commemoration organized by Education For All campaign Network in The Gambia (EFANet) held in LRR.

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This year’s commemorations focused on “ protecting education in emergencies now”.

The GAWE is commemorated every year to remind world leaders of the promises made in Dakar framework for action in 2000 to meet the education for all goals and by extension, the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 4 and related goals.

This year’s commemoration theme is an urgent and strong call on states, world leaders and the international community to protect education in emergencies in light of the major emergencies happening around the world.

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As part of the EFANet GAWE commemorations from 15- 21 May, the coalition also embarked on various advocacy activities including media talk show, social media campaigns and the main “Bantaba” as policy dialogue on the theme.

There is increase need for an opportunity to scrutinize education budget to alleviate leakage, misplaced priorities and appropriate use of public funds ally to education of the children.

“The Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), annually led by the global campaign for education (GCE) movement, is a key moment for education activists all over the world. More than 100 countries, hundreds of local, national, regional and global civil society organisations and millions of people all over the join to define and advocate for the right to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all and contributing to achieving the SDG4,” he explained.

Jajursey said investment in education in emergencies and crisis contexts is absolutely key. Despite the alarming number and stories, education remains one of the most underfunded areas of humanitarian aid, receiving just 2.4% of global humanitarian funding. Education in emergencies desperately needs sufficient, sustainable and predictable funding, this involves, for donor countries, allocating at least 10% of humanitarian funding to education, including by meaningfully supporting the education cannot wait (ECW) replenishment process.

Louis Moses Mendy, permanent secretary of Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, promised that his ministry will remain committed and ensuring to regain the culture and moral values The Gambia has in the educational sector.

“I am super proud of EFANet for this event and most especially for holding it in LRR.”

Mendy challenged EFANet to tour the entire country.

Kebba Darbo, acting governor of LRR, urged all to support EFANet in the advocacy to make sure that education is protected for every child. “I will also like to plead to MoBSE, which is the bigger parent body that is responsible for education delivery at the basic secondary level to continue the good work and try to address every pending challenge in the education sector and protect the education of our children from emergencies”.

Bakary Badjie, EFANet board chairperson, said Global Action Week for Education is one of the major focal points for the education movement. “It provides every national and regional education campaign with an opportunity to highlight one key area of the education for all agenda and make targeted efforts to achieve change on the ground, with the added support of education campaigners and millions of members of the public worldwide joining together for the same cause.

“In the light of the major emergencies happening all over the world and their devastating impact on the right to education of millions of people, particularly the most vulnerable, the theme for the GAWE 2022 may be more important than ever. It is an urgent and strong call on states, world leaders and the international community to protect education in emergencies now”.

He added that the GAWE is a unique opportunity to stand together as a global movement and call for urgent action for education in emergencies. “Your engagement and support will make the difference for protecting education in emergencies”.

Other speakers included Mustapha Saine, chapter chairperson region 4, Imam Sheikh Kobra Kandeh, ISRA regional representative, Lamin Fatty, Lamin Marr, director of planning represented by the chairman of Mansakonko Area Council.

The event also brought together students, parents, religious leaders, teachers and other important dignitaries.

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