Education enables development and is crucial to helping people overcome poverty. It also contributes to equity, health, governance, sustainable development and empowering women. Education is the largest sector of Australia’s aid program.
Promoting opportunities for all is one of the five strategic goals of Australia’s aid program. Guided by the education thematic strategy, Promoting Opportunities for All: Education, Australia’s aid program helps more children, particularly girls, to attend school for a longer and better education so they have the skills to build their own futures and, in time, escape poverty. We do this by:
- improving access to school for all children and youth so that they complete a basic education
- improving the quality of education so that all children and youth learn the basic skills needed to lead productive lives
- assisting governments to deliver education services that provide a better quality education for all.
Following the Government’s announcement on 17 December 2012 to reprioritise resources within the aid budget, the 2012–13 budget estimate for the Education program was reduced by $99 million to $879.4 million. The new budget estimate for Education reflects changes to country and global programs as well as deferrals in funding for Australian Awards scholarships and fellowships, and education research and partnerships, into future financial years.
Australia remains committed to promoting opportunities for all, and to the Education sector in particular. Education will remain the flagship sector of the aid program. Australia expects to be one of the largest bilateral donors in education by 2015–16. Our education assistance will, for example, focus on:
- addressing the financial and social barriers to girls’ education
- supporting school construction in disadvantaged areas
- continuing to work with governments in areas such as education policy, planning and budgeting in order to improve education access and quality.