With .02% of the U.S. budget, basic education programs
are reaching millions of children every year.

US funding for Intl basic education since 2001 ($M)

Since establishment in 2001, the Basic Education Coalition (BEC) has been raising public awareness of the importance of global education through briefings, publications, and events. 

Results: U.S. foreign assistance funding for basic education programs has increased from $105 million in 2001 to $800 million in 2018. 

Note: Though increasing, the Basic Education Account still represented only .02% of the 2019 national budget.

Gross primary school enrollment in low income countries since 2001 (%)

Sourced from data.worldbank.org

Strong advocacy and effective international basic education programs have contributed to steadily increasing global enrollment rates during the 21st century. With support from USAID, developing countries have built new schools, hired more teachers, and reduced or eliminated costs of attendance to ensure that more children can attend primary school. 

Results: In low income countries (where individual income is $2.80 per day or less), average primary school enrollment rates have increased by 35% since 2001. 

Focus on: learning outcomes

Despite gains towards universal primary school enrollment, many children are not learning the most basic skills. This is particularly true in low and middle income countries. The Education Commission projects that if current trends continue, by 2030 over three-quarters of a billion young people in low- and middle-income countries will not be on track to acquire secondary-level skills.

Call to action: We must ramp up effective, innovative programs to ensure that all children stay in school and learn. 

Smart, strategic initiatives are achieving real results.

More children reading English in Kenya

The Tusome Early Grade Reading Activity is co-funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). The program is led by Kenya’s Ministry of Education and implemented by BEC member, RTI International. Tusome  (“Let’s Read” in Kiswahili) includes improved lesson plans, reading books, and training and support for teachers in Kiswahili and English. Tusome is currently supporting 1st to 3rd graders in all 23,000 Kenyan public primary schools and 1,500 low cost private schools and costs less than $5 per student, per year. 

Results: The percentage of students able to read with fluency in English more than tripled (from 12% to 47%) within one year after the program began. 

Fewer school dropouts in cambodia

In rural Cambodia, schools struggle with high dropout rates, especially in grades 7-9. To support at-risk students, USAID funded the School Dropout Prevention Program (SDPP), designed and implemented by BEC member, Creative Associates International. As part of the SDPP Early Warning System, Parent Teacher Association members in 215 Cambodian schools were trained to: 1) conduct home visits with parents whose children are absent from school, 2) hold community meetings to raise awareness about the negative impact of school dropout, and 3) mobilize community resources to help children stay in school.

Results: A study of the SDPP showed that low-cost, locally-implemented, practical interventions can make a significant impact on dropout rates. During its pilot phase (2012-2014), SDPP-Cambodia reduced the dropout rate of at-risk students from 54% to 48%. 

Greater student achievement in Nepal

There is a global shortage of qualified teachers for students living in poverty. BEC member, Teach For All (TFAll) network partners recruit new teachers and train them to be effective leaders in the most high-needs classrooms around the world. 

Results: Students with teachers who were recruited and trained by Teach for All's partner in Nepal are performing far beyond their peers. In 2015, 73% of students with Teach For Nepal teachers passed their School Leaving Certificate exams, compared to the national average of only 33%. 

For more info, contact Beth Johnson, Communications & Outreach Manager

Banner photo: Students tackle multi-digit addition in the Philippines, by EDC.