New solutions needed to provide education for all

01 Jul 2015
Oslo, 6 July 2015: Solutions to the global education crisis do exist, but the quality of those solutions needs to be improved, and increased funding and an innovative approach are also required, say Norwegian organisations and Telenor.

There are 58 million children worldwide who have no access to education, and even more who leave school without being able to write their own names. Solving this crisis requires the commercial sector, civil society and authorities to come together and find new solutions. The solutions will have to be sustainable, local and scalable.

On Monday 6 July the Atlas Alliance, the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, The Norwegian Refugee Council, Plan Norway, Save the Children Norway, The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), SOS Children’s Villages, Telenor and UNICEF Norway will host the Partnering for Education conference in Oslo. The aim of the conference is to bring together a broad group of stakeholders to advise on how world leaders ought to invest in quality education.

The conference makes up the first day of the Oslo Education Summit, which the Norwegian Government has organised in cooperation with the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown.

Innovations alone will not solve the challenges faced by school children across the world. The organisations behind the conference believe that long-term investment in educating teachers is vital to success in this area. Globally, there ought to be at least a fourfold increase in teacher education. With an increase in the number of conflicts in the world, education funding in crisis zones must be doubled by 2016 to ensure that more children are not prevented from accessing education and/or suffer big gaps in their education. Additionally, the Safe Schools Declaration should be signed by as many countries as possible.

The reasons why many children do not receive the education to which they are entitled, according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, are complex. Poverty, conflict and discrimination, however, are recurring factors.

-A good, inclusive education is a prerequisite in child development. That is why we need to work together to seek to remove obstacles that hinder children receiving an education—in particular the most vulnerable groups like girls and children with disabilities, say the organisations behind the conference.

At the conference, CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas of Telenor will present the types of solutions that Telenor is providing in Bangladesh.

– Using digital technology, telecommunications companies like Telenor can provide solutions that enable the general population, and children in particular, to acquire knowledge and an education. Education is key to development and provides exciting opportunities for development and scaling that we are considering, Baksaas says.

There will be three sessions at the Partnering for Education conference: Equity in education, Closing the education gap, leveraging digital solutions, and Ensuring education in emergencies. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, is coming to Oslo and will give the closing speech at the Partnering for Education conference. He will also attend Tuesday’s high-level meeting.

For further information on Partnering for Education and registration, please go to: http://gyroconference.event123.no/MFA/SideeventOsloEducationSummit/home.cfm

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