Letter: Children around the world need basic education

Dear Editor,

Millions of children will go to school again this week. They are fortunate – millions of others will not have that opportunity.

Around the world, almost 57 million elementary school-aged children – especially girls – don’t go to school at all.

Millions more receive poor-quality education, and will not be able to read, write, or count.

Investing in basic education is one of the best ways to fight poverty.

As you might know, the number of out-of-school primary school-aged children has decreased from 70.5 million to 57 million in six years, with support from mechanisms like the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Such a decrease will most likely have a huge impact on reducing poverty over a long period of time.

The GPE is an effective global partnership, devoted to ensuring that all children are enrolled and receiving a quality basic education. Established in 2002, it is now providing assistance and incentives to develop and implement sound national education plans in 59 countries around the world.

Canada is among the rich countries contributing to the GPE, but is still not contributing its fair share as a developed country. It would need, to do so, to increase its contribution to $150 million over a period of four years.

A total of $150 million over four years is not such a big commitment for a country like Canada. Let’s remember that, by restoring corporate tax rates to what they were before 2008, Canada would save more than $10 billion this year.

Let’s just hope Canada will decide to move in the right direction over the next months.

Bruno Marquis, Gatineau, Quebec

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