Scholarship for one Ghanaian to study in Canada could pay for 58 SHS students – UNESCO

pupil1A new report by UNESCO shows that the cost of training one Ghanaian student in Canada could pay for the cost of educating 58 citizens in seniour high schools (SHS) at home.

The new research titled ‘Education for All Global Monitoring Report’ also shows that one quarter of ‘aid’ for education never leaves donor countries.

“In total, $3.1 billion of aid to education is spent on scholarships for students from developing countries to study in donor countries. This money could go a long way to giving the 132 million out of school children and adolescents in the world’s poorest countries the chance for a better future,” the report said.

According to the report released in the aftermath of a Bali summit at which the UN High Level Panel called for ‘strengthened’ ‘financing for development’ after 2015, currently, at least 20% of aid from the four largest donors to education – Japan, Canada, Germany and France – is spent on scholarships and imputed student costs (costs incurred by donor-country institutions when they receive students from developing countries), rather than targeted at the key education priorities of poor countries.

The report indicates that in 2010, almost 40% of Japan’s direct aid to education went to scholarships for students studying in Japan; the equivalent for Canada was 22%. Germany’s aid disbursements to scholarships and imputed student costs were almost eleven times the amount it spent on direct aid to general secondary education and vocational training in 2010. That same year, France’s aid disbursements to scholarships and imputed student costs were four times as much as was spent on direct aid to general secondary education and vocational training.

The report argues; “This money could be more effectively spent helping the world’s poorest children. For each scholarship provided for a student to study at a university in a developed country, hundreds of students in a developing country could receive basic education.”

The report says for one single scholarship for a Nepalese student in Japan, for example, could pay for 229 secondary school students in Nepal.

On Ghana, it says, one scholarship in Canada could pay for 184 students in Nepal, 58 students in Ghana or 69 students in Guatemala and one scholarship in France could pay for 256 students in Guinea or 66 in Rwanda.

The report recently calculated that the finance gap for basic education had increased by $10 billion a year in just three years, totaling $26 billion.

“Simply reallocating the funds donors spend on scholarships and imputed costs would pay off almost an eighth of this gap,” it adds.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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