According to the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report published by UNESCO, total aid to education stands at $12 billion or four per cent lower than in 2010 – while total development aid over the same period increased by 24 per cent.
“Aid to basic education – which includes support to pre-primary and primary education as well as adult education and literacy programmes – stands at $5.2 billion, up from $4.8 billion in 2014. This amount is still 6 per cent lower than in 2010. Aid to secondary education, meanwhile, amounts to $2.2 billion, representing 19 per cent of total aid to education,” the Report said.
For Ghana, however, aid to education has fluctuated massively over the years, going from $110 million in 2011 to $89 million in 2012. In 2013, aid to the sector was $124 million, then it went down to $80 million in 2014 and then it rose to $165 million in 2015.
“This latter allocation is the largest total allocation Ghana has received since the start of the Millennium. $93 million of the $165 million went to basic education. The total allocation of aid to education in Ghana in 2015 is the third largest allocation of aid in the region that year after Tanzania and Ethiopia,” a UNESCO spokesperson told ghanabusinessnews.com.
The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa AKufo-Addo, has however, challenged African governments, urging them to stop relying on the World Bank and other institutions to decide on the choices they have make concerning policies and the funding of education in Africa.
“We should not get into arguments with foreign agencies about our priorities. We must set our own priorities and we must accept that we must provide the funds to translate our plans into reality.
“We should never have to rely on the World Bank and any other institution to decide for us what our emphasis should be in our education,” he said.
The President said these when he addressed the opening session of the 14th General Conference and Golden Jubilee anniversary of the Association of African Universities (AAU) in Accra Monday June 5, 2017.
The report notes that The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest donors to basic education, but reduced their allocations by 11 per cent and 9 per cent respectively between 2014-2015. Norway and Germany, meanwhile, increased their allocations to basic education by 50 per cent and 34 per cent respectively, it added.
The report however, states that aid is not being allocated according to need, indicating that “sub-Saharan Africa, home to over half of the world’s out-of-school children now receives less than half the aid to basic education it obtained in 2002. This amounts to 26 per cent of total aid to basic education, barely more than the 22 per cent allocated to Northern Africa and Western Asia, where 9 per cent of children are out-of-school,” it said.
However, it points out that in contrast to trends in bilateral aid to education, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), allocated 77 per cent of its disbursements to sub-Saharan Africa, and 60 per cent to countries affected by instability and conflict.
“While humanitarian aid to education has reached a historic high, increasing by 55 per cent from 2015 to 2016, it still receives only 2.7 per cent of total aid available, amounting to 48 per cent of the amount requested,” it said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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