India has asked the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to fulfil their commitment to enhance funding in education which it considers as “critical” for quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Addressing the 39th General Conference of UNESCO yesterday here, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar quoted the findings of the latest ‘Global Education Monitoring Report’ that pointed out that “at the global level, international commitments to finance the education sector, remains weak”. “Therefore, OECD developed countries must fulfil their commitment. Ultimately, investing in education is investing in peace and sustainable future,” he said. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries, most of them regarded as the developed nations.
He said the funding was vital to implement ‘Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) Education 2030’ and associated targets. Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Javadekar said India recognised that accountability in financing of education was critical to achieve SDG4 and associated targets and called for accountability on the part of both the “development partners” and the “individual countries”. Stressing that the SDG4-Education 2030 agenda requires increased, well-targeted financing and effective and efficient utilisation of allocated funds, he said India was investing nearly 4.5 per cent of the GDP on education, despite competing demands on resources.
There has been a broad consensus that investment in education be gradually increased to reach a level of six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the minister said. “Efforts are being made to step up the outlay on education by facilitating substantial increase in both public and private sector investment in education,” he added.