Of all of the investments needed to achieve sustainable development, none is more important than a quality education for every child. In a knowledge-based world economy, a good education is vital for finding decent work; achieving good health; building functioning communities; developing the skills to be a dependable parent; and growing up to be an engaged and responsible citizen.
Indeed, it is no surprise that the most brutish and violent groups in the world, such as Nigeria’s Boko Haram, attack education. And it was right on the mark to award the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for her brave advocacy of girls’ education.
When the world’s governments launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September, they will rightly put education for all children at the forefront, alongside ending extreme poverty, hunger, and death from preventable and treatable causes. Yet, while many poor countries have increased domestic financing for education, the international community has not yet done its part. Aid for education remains too low and too fragmented.