Of all that the United States can give in foreign aid, no support is more lasting and more transforming than education. And supporting learning within the worlds poorer nations is not merely an act of charity. It is an investment in the United States future as well. How many of our nations lives and how much of its treasure are spent fending off groups and governments sustained by ignorance?
And the appeal of such aid is that so much can be done for a poor nation with what is not much for a rich nation. That is why members of North Carolinas congressional delegation should support U.S. funding for the Global Partnership for Education. They need to act quickly by signing onto a letter to President Obama that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is circulating, asking for a U.S. pledge of $250 million over two years. The deadline for signing is Thursday.
The Global Partnership for Education is a cooperative effort among some 60 nations to address the need for basic education in the worlds poorest and often conflict-torn nations. The organization says that 57 million children around the globe do not attend school and that nearly 250 million almost 40 percent of the worlds children of primary school age are illiterate.
Backing from the United States can be crucial when the GPE meets June 26 in Brussels to replenish its funding. To date, the GPE has helped enroll 22 million children in school, construct over 53,000 classrooms and train more than 300,000 teachers.
To raise a child, it takes a village, but to educate all children it takes a world united in partnership. North Carolinas members of Congress should support this effort to promote learning and drive out ignorance.