There is an adage which says if anyone thinks education is expensive they should try illiteracy. Thus, no matter the cost of education, it may never be too expensive to pursue given that to ignore the right to education could mean leaving too many people without a future. Several parts of the world, especially in Africa, have been victim of the issues of poor education for the population and the situation has been so strong to the extent of attracting planetary attention. Faced with the growing challenge to provide quality education for youth across the world, the Global Partnership for Education, GPE succeeded in rallying over 50 countries in Dakar, Senegal from 1-2 February, 2018. Participating counties pledged to increase their education budget. Some 3.3 Billion dollars were earmarked to be pumped into the educational sector from 2018 -2020 across the world even though the real amount required to meet the set target within the period is estimated at 110 billion dollars. Co-chaired by the French and Senegalese leaders, the conference ended with a call for countries to put in more in financing the educational needs of their populations.
No one can afford to be indifferent to such a laudable initiative. But as the countries make lofty pledges in front of media cameras, it may be hard to ignore the local or national realities that have characterised such diplomatic moves in the past. Some stack political and economic challenges have often made most countries to seep under the carpet all promises made in forums like the one that took place in Senegal.
While most developed countries have been coping with certain academic hurdles by providing the necessary infrastructure and funding to build critical manpower that can ensure the progress they need, Third World countries have, on their part, kept playing games and hiding behind hardship and global economic squeeze to sideline education and similar key sectors in their countries. Even worse, the development of school curricular has either been imposed from abroad or half-backed at home to the extent that most educational career processes on the African Continent, for example, often fail to meet the desired goals of the trainees.
Prior to the Dakar conference, the World Bank issued a stern warning that over 260 million children worldwide are out of school and that half of those in school are not learning. Such statistics are revealing enough and it may not require special eye glasses to see that the World Bank is as such putting a finger on a glaring fact. Instances of civil conflicts, wars, economic hardship and other disruptive factors that abound across Africa and other parts of the globe do constitute enough indication of the many teething pitfalls that hamper children from pursuing their educational ambitions.