Davos: Think Gates Cares About Education? Think Again
The question is raised in this recent commentary from Al Jazeera: "On the face of it, there should be little need to make the business case for education. It is intrinsically tied to all positive development outcomes. Economic growth, health, nutrition and democracy are all boosted by quality schooling. If all children in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, poverty would fall by 12 percent - and that's good for business. The private sector benefits directly from an educated, skilled workforce."
Education development from the private sector totals just $683M a year, according to the latest Education for All Global Monitoring Report. "This is equivalent to less than 0.5 percent of the annual profits of the ten biggest companies in the world," writes Pauline Rose is the Director of the Global Monitoring Report on Education published by UNESCO. "It is about the same as the price of two Boeing 747s or the amount Americans spend on pizzas in just over a week." Meanwhile, there are 61M children not going to school.
One reason for the relative inattention to global education is that it's eclipsed by global health efforts, which receive more than half of US foundation funds (vs. 8 percent for education). Ironically, many of these global health initiatives are funded funded by none other than the Gates Foundation. (Image via FlickrCC)