November 29, 2021 – The Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) called for the renewal of commitment to prioritize education investment as a mobilizer of COVID-19 recovery efforts and the futures of education during the Global Education Meeting 2021 (2021 GEM) on Wednesday.

Co-hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Paris, the high-level segment aims to create a global political momentum to raise the profile of education and its investment imperative, and adopt the “Paris Declaration” to renew national and international leaders’ commitment to education investment and accelerate progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education).

“We should adhere to the principle of shared responsibility to increase our education financing. I believe that investing in our schools, especially our teachers, is one of the vital forces behind global education recovery and a catalyst to education transformation,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

Previously, Secretary Briones highlighted the significance of financing in improving regional and international benchmarks for SDG 2030 indicators during the Ministerial Segment of 2021 GEM last July 13.

On the other hand, international expert on Tax Policy and Public Expenditure Management Atty. Kim Jacinto Henares supports the Education Minister’s goal in education financing by giving advice, “The real viable way to finance education [in a country] is through domestic revenue mobilization. This is by having a tax system that is simple, fair, transparent, and has good tax administration.”

According to the latest GEM report, addressing the gaps in education financing requires policy actions in three key areas: (1) financing, (2) efficiency, and (3) equity.

Meanwhile, UNESCO Assistant Director-General Stefania Giannini welcomed the inauguration of the SDG4-Education 2030 High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC) as a symbol of the global education community’s renewed commitment to quality education and lifelong learning for all, as reaffirmed during the 2020 GEM.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay stressed that building reinforced global cooperation for the transformation of education towards the full realization of SDG 4 requires prioritization on education investment.

“We have two powerful tools. First, a renewed and strengthened steering committee and the leadership of UNESCO, and second, a new roadmap for better investment in education, but we need your firm commitment to this joint undertaking because only together we can meet the promises we made for the generations to come,” UNESCO DG Azoulay emphasized.