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Concept Note on International Conference on More and Better Investment in Global Education

  • Date 14 Jun 2016(Tue)
  • Time 10:00 – 17:30
  • Venue Lotte Hotel, Seoul, Korea
  • Hosts KDI, ICFGEO
Education is a major driving force for development at both individual and societal levels. It opens doors to job markets, combats inequality, improves health, and fosters social trust. Education empowers people with knowledge, skills and values that are needed to build a better world.  
However, many in today’s world are deprived of the opportunity to obtain a quality education. Worldwide, some 59 million children and 65 million adolescents are out of school, and approximately 100 million children do not complete primary education. Inequality in education has increased; the world’s poorest children are four times more likely not to go to school than the world’s richest children, and five times more likely not to complete primary school. Increased conflict has forced millions of children out of the classroom making them refugees with no hope for an education.
One of the key factors accounting for our failings is the under-financed state of global education. Although many governments have increased spending in education, few have prioritized education in national budgets, and most fail to allocate sufficient amounts necessary for bridging funding gaps. The situation is similar with donors, who – after an initial boost in aid budgets – have reduced financial support to education since 2010 and have not sufficiently prioritized those countries most in need.
In order to tackle this issue, more than twenty world leaders, including five former presidents and prime ministers and three Nobel Prize recipients, have been appointed to a new International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity to reverse the lack of financing for education around the world. The Commission, supported by the Government of Norway and Prime Minister Erna Solberg, will review the future of global education which currently leaves 124 million young people out of school. The Commission will explore how education could lead to greater economic growth, better health outcomes, and improve global security for next 15 to 20 years.
The Commission is Co-convened by the Norwegian Prime Minister alongside President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Peter Mutharika of Malawi and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, has been appointed Chair of the Commission.
Korea is a country whose experience in education offers meaningful lessons for the Commission in achieving its goals. Education has played a key role in Korea’s unprecedented economic growth within the past half century, which has allowed the country to transform itself from an aid-recipient country to a donor country. Korea’s education policies have significantly contributed to the country overcoming the aftermath of war and achieving an economic “miracle.” Drawing from its own experience of heavily investing in education and training for human capital, Korea recognizes education as an effective and innovative tool for socio-economic development. Consequently, Korea’s experience may stand as a helpful guide for other countries.
In line with Korea’s economic development, Korea Development Institute (KDI) has consistently provided policy recommendations and guidance to the Korean government based on in-depth analyses of international and domestic economic conditions and projections while conducting preemptive and empirical studies. In an effort to share Korea's economic development experience with partner countries, KDI has initiated the International Development Exchange Program (IDEP) in 1982 and continued its cooperation with other countries through the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) since 2004 with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of Korea (MOSF) and KDI’s Center for International Development (CID). Since 2004, CID has conducted KSPs with more than 52 countries in various regions on more than 700 research topics.
In order to discuss how to improve education opportunities across the globe, KDI in collaboration with the Education Commission is organizing the International Conference to bring together policymakers, scholars and experts from various regions and disciplines to discuss more and better investment in education (Session 1). In addition to sharing opinions and ideas from international experts, the Conference will also discuss how Korea’s experience in education can provide policy lessons for other states (Session 2). Lastly, scholars, leaders and practitioners from various regions will come together and discuss on the topic of improving the quantity and quality of investment on global education (Session 3).
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