Multilateral education and vocational training initiatives

Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE, former Fast Track Initiative) was established in 2002 with active French support to help low-income countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education and speed up the achievement of the Education for All (EFA) goals.

The GPE is the principal multilateral mechanism for education, from the first years of primary school to secondary school. It brings together 55 developing countries and more than 30 bilateral regional and international bodies, alongside development banks, private-sector companies, teaching staff and local and global civil society groups. France has contributed €50 million to the GPE over the period 2011-2014.

The Partnership’s objectives are effectiveness-based and follow a dual incentive approach:

  • prompt donors to increase their aid;
  • prompt developing countries to develop coherent sectoral policies, while increasing their national resources in this sector.

A specific trust fund supports the implementation of sectoral policies and enables candidate countries to draw up an education programme likely to be eligible for the Initiative by building their capacities for analysis. Since 2002, the GPE has made it possible to commit more than $3.5 billion and to gain very positive results:

  • enrolment of children: between 2002 and 2011, the GPE has helped enrol 23 million more children in school. The number of enrolled children in African countries supported by the GPE has increased 64%, i.e. double the rate of increase recorded in other countries;
  • girls’ enrolment: girls account for 62% of new enrolment in GPE partner countries. 18 countries have reached the objective of parity between boys’ and girls’ enrolment, and 14 other countries are on the right track to achieve this objective by 2015;
  • equipment and training: the GPE has contributed to building 37,000 classrooms, to providing 220 million textbooks, to training 413,000 teachers and to serving 700,000 meals daily to students, including 500,000 in Haiti.

The six Education for All goals

France is also working in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to achieve the six Education of All goals. UNESCO publishes the yearly “EFA Global Monitoring Report” which is a reference document.

The Global Education First Initiative (GEFI)

France supports the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative which provides an opportunity to accelerate the achievement of universal education by 2015 by focusing on three priority areas:

  • access to education;
  • the quality of learning;
  • foster global citizenship through education.

French action through the European Union

Given its significant contribution to the European Development Fund (EDF), France plays a key role in the actions conducted by the European Commission and EU Member States in support of development. As the leading partner and donor in Africa, the European Union (EU) is set to play a key role in providing educational and vocational training support to Africa. France’s contribution to basic education which is channelled through the European Commission has amounted to €120 million per year on average since 2009.

Updated : May 2014

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