EFANet Urges Gov’t to Increase Education Budget


To Meet Global Target in Domestic Financing

By Ndey Sowe

“Education For All Campaign Network The Gambia” (EFANet)  has called on the Government of The Gambia to consider increasing the size of the education budget in order to meet the global and continental target of 20% of domestic financing. This according to EFANet believes, will certainly give a fair share of the national budget to the needs of all by “leaving no one behind”.

EFANet made the call in solidarity with the Global Education Community in commemoration of Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2022 with the theme: “Protect Education in Emergencies Now”.

GAWE which is commemorated yearly is a reminder to world leaders of the promises made during the ‘Dakar Framework for Action’ in the year 2000, to meet Education For All (EFA) goal.

This year’s theme also highlights an urgent and strong call on states, world leaders and the international community, to protect education in light of major emergencies happening around the world.

EFANet commemorates GAWE from the 15th to 21st May, and as part of this year’s Commemoration, the coalition embarked on various advocacy activities including media talk shows and social media campaigns, culminating with the “Bantaba”, the main event on policy dialogue on the theme, held at Soma Lower Basic School in the Lower River Region (LRR) (Region 4) on Saturday 21st of May, 2022.

Mr. Omar Jarjusey, National Coordinator EFANet called for the protection of education during emergencies and said GAWE, an annual event led by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) movement, is a key moment for education activists the world over.

More than a hundred local, regional and global civil society organizations in more than a hundred countries all over the world, join together to defend and advocate for the right to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for the all, and to contribute in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (SDG-4), and EFANet and partners are not left behind.

” In the light of the major emergencies happening all over the world and their devastating impact on the right to education for millions of people particularly the most vulnerable, GAWE 2022 might be more important than ever,” Jarjusey emphasized. He calls on the Central Government to  consider increasing the size of the education budget to meet global and continental targets of 20% of domestic financing which he said will certainly give a fair share of national budgets.

Lousis Moses Mendy, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) as guest speaker, harped on the theme: “Protecting Education in Emergencies”.

According to Mendy, his Ministry will remain committed to regain the cultural and moral values that the Gambia has in the educational sector .

“I am proud of EFANet for this event and most especially, forr holding it in LRR,” PS Mendy said. He challenged EFANet to tour the entire country and hold this type of event.

Kebba Darbo, Acting Governor of LRR assured that he will use his influence and will join EFANet and the global community to advocate for investment in education in emergencies and crisis situations. Hence the education sector remains one of the most underfunded areas of humanitarian aid. “My team and I are fully committed to the fight for guaranteeing the right to education of the Gambian people and the achievement by the global community of the goal of this year’s GAWE theme as well as the SDG-4,” he said.

Bakary Badjie, Board Chairperson of EFANet said his office as a member of the Global Campaign for Education, calls on state and political actors to protect education in emergency situations by ensuring the right to education for affected citizens, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) by war, conflict and climate change.

“The state obligation must be interconnected and seek to break down the barriers imposed by conflict, discrimination and injustice according to international human rights law and the Sustainable Development Education 2030 Agenda,” Badjie said; that for this reason, equal rights in education is realisised through inclusive, planning and sustainable financing.

Other speakers include the network’s Chapter Chairperson for Region-4 Alagie Mustpha Saine and ISRA regional representative Imam Sheikh Kobra Kandeh. Lamin Fatty spoke on the topic the Role of CSOs in protecting Education in Emergencies, and Lamin Marr Director of Planning represented the Chairperson of Mansakonko Area Council.

The event brought together students, parents, religious leaders and teachers among other important dignitaries.