Commonwealth Education Fund
12 June 2002
The Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF), officially launched on the 12 March by the Chancellor Gordon Brown to mark Her Majesty The Queen's Golden Jubilee year, will help Commonwealth developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in education so that every child in the Commonwealth completes a primary education by 2015.
At present, 75 million primary school-age children in the Commonwealth do not attend school.
Under the chairmanship of Sir Edward George, Governor of the Bank of England, and managed by leading charities ActionAid, Oxfam and Save the Children, the fund will strengthen the capacity of low-income Commonwealth countries to ensure that the poorest and most marginalised children are able to enroll in and complete good quality primary education. Activities will cover three broad areas:
- Strengthening civil society participation in the design and implementation of national and local education plans and frameworks. Particular priority will be given to supporting initiatives that can accelerate progress towards gender equity in education;
- Enabling local communities to monitor government spending on education, both at the national and local levels;
- Supporting innovative ways for civil society to ensure that all children, especially girls and the most vulnerable and disadvantaged (including street children, former child soldiers and nomadic children) are able to access quality education.
Alongside the £10 million Government commitment to the fund, money raised by business will be matched pound for pound (including tax relief) by the Government.
The Government will also match pound for pound (including tax relief) funds raised for education in Commonwealth developing countries by Comic Relief's Sport Relief.
While most of the funds from the CEF will be invested in expanding access to education in the Commonwealth's poorest countries, the Government will also expand its work to develop links between schools in Commonwealth countries and the UK, to raise children's development awareness.
Visit the Sport Relief website to find out how you can contribute to Comic Relief's Sport Relief.
The charities that will be administering contributions from businesses, ActionAid, Oxfam and Save the Children, have been the three longstanding leading UK members of the international NGO coalition "Global Campaign for Education", which has been taking forward the commitments made by Governments and NGOs at the World Education Forum held in Dakar April 2000 to provide education for all.
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