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Education for all – for $74 a child

Written by Susan Nicolai, Joseph Wales, Sebastien Hine

​It would cost just an extra $74 per child per year to provide a quality education to every student hit by an emergency - according to new research presented to a global education summit on Tuesday July 7.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a London-based think tank, says more than 65 million children caught up in wars, natural disasters and health emergencies should all be included in a worldwide plan to reach those at risk of disrupted schooling.

Other research - including the UNESCO Education for All report – has only looked at students in conflict-affected countries and also ignored those in school but at risk of dropping out. 

New figures to be presented to world-renowned education campaigners like UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai at the summit in Oslo on Monday will show that $4.8 billion dollars is needed to save the schooling of those who miss out every year because of crises.

The report’s chief author Susan Nicolai, a researcher at the ODI said: “Education is important for all societies rebuilding after emergencies. While providing education in crisis contexts seems expensive, the cost of not doing so is far higher – education is vital for peace and stability, and is a critical long-term investment in a nation coming out of crises.”

As part of the Oslo Summit on Educational Development, ODI is calling for:

• The formation of a high-level group of champions to further global action on education in emergencies and protracted crises.

• Principles for education in emergencies and protracted crises to be established and implemented.

• A global partnership to co-ordinate work by governments, NGOs and the private sector to provide education in countries hit by emergencies.

• Address the financing gap though the creation of a dedicated fund or another agreed mechanism.  

If delivered these would help children – like the 8.5 million under the age of 20 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – who are currently denied the right to education by the Ebola outbreak.

Susan Nicolai said: “During crises, education is life-saving and provides vital psychosocial support, important for the longer-term development of children, youth and communities.

“The total figure needed to sort out education annually in all emergency hit countries is $4.8 billion dollars.

“This sounds impossible but the Overseas Development Institutes calculates that is it is only an additional $74 per child per year, and is no more than aid often directed to global health. That’s a small amount when one compares the potential returns on investment.”

For comparison $74 is the prize of a Walmart kids’ trampoline: http://www.iheartthemart.com/walmart-kids-first-trampolines-on-sale-as-low-as-74/ 

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To request a copy of the report or to interview the authors please contact Miles Barter on 07808 791265 or email [email protected]