U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations Ambassador Rick Barton today said the United States has increased its education aid over 1000% in 2010.
At the ECOSOC Ministerial on Education, Mr. Barton stressed that the United States believes everyone benefits when a country invests in education.
“Education transforms individual lives: empowering people to pursue their dreams of a better life and expand their human potential. One extra year of schooling increases individual earnings by 8.3% on average.” – Mr. Barton
He underscored that the United States is committed to promoting education because it is in their country’s interest as well.
He added that more education – and the accompanying economic growth – is linked to decreases in conflict.
“Education also empowers people, including women, to fully participate in their societies, becoming citizens in the truest sense of the word.” – Mr. Barton
According to Mr. Barton, the United States position as one of the largest donors to education reflects its commitment. He stressed that bilaterally, the U.S. Overseas Development Assistance for education is higher than ever.
“Over the last decade, we have increased our education aid over 1000% for a total of $1.2 billion in 2010. We are using this aid to help countries all over the world meet the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All Goals.” – Mr. Barton
Mr. Barton noted that over the last decade, the international community has made great progress in education. Since 1999, the number of out of school children has dropped by more than a third, and the number of girls out of school is decreasing even faster.
However, Mr. Barton pointed out there are great challenges ahead. He said there are still 796 million illiterate adults in the world, almost two thirds of whom are women.
“While access to primary education has improved, quality education and access to secondary education remain a problem, especially for girls.” – Mr. Barton
Mr. Barton highlighted that the United States has lessons to
learn about building a better teacher workforce from others. He said the U.S. government is assisting other nations develop stronger technical and vocational education programs.