Aide et Action to lead the Education Coalition

Photo credit: Franck Vogel

Since 1 Januaryer As of January 1, 2021, Aide et Action is the leader of the Education Coalition. A grouping of 20 civil society actors - trade unions, NGOs, associations, popular education movements - who are all involved in the education sector.  which defends the right to inclusive and equitable quality education for all. 

An increasing number of children now have access to education. However, more than 258 million children are still excluded, especially among the most vulnerable, and 1 in 6 children cannot read a simple sentence even after several years in school. The French government has made education one of its priorities. Nevertheless, gaps persist between France's stated intentions and the reality of its international policy. Aid to education remains insufficient and is inflated by accounting for questionable expenditure. Moreover, France's support for private for-profit educational actors does not comply with international standards and undermines the right to education. 

Origin and birth

In order for the government to better grasp the issues at stake in the field of education, French civil society organisations, specialised in the defence of the right to education, felt the need to unite to make their voices heard. Six French civil society organisations, including Aide et Action, Handicap International, La ligue de l'enseignement, Plan International France, SNUipp-FSU and Solidarité Laïque, therefore joined forces in 2014 to form a unified national coalition:  The Education Coalition. It functions as an association under the French law of 1901. It is supported administratively and financially by a lead organisation (Solidarité Laïque from 2015 to 2020, Aide et Action since January 2021), is steered by a steering committee (elected for 3 years) and is run by a team of two employees. 

In defence of the right to education for all

Since 2015, the Education Coalition has not been idle. It has published several reports ("Meeting the challenges of education in a Sahel in crisis", April 2019, "Education: the lever for a fair & transformative G7" in June 2019,  and the "West and Central Africa Youth Consultation" in July 2019), organised round tables and participated in high-level political meetings and summits (notably with the President of the Republic ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018 or with  official working groups of the 2019 G7 education-development ministerial). Each year, the Education Coalition publishes an Observatoire de l'Aide Publique Française à l'éducation dans les pays en développement, in which it analyses the French government's action in favour of education and draws up a list of recommendations for more effective and better targeted aid. " Citizen mobilisation is the key to ensuring that education becomes, beyond rhetoric, a priority for meeting development challenges and coping with crisis and emergency situations, insists Léa Rambaud, Communication and Advocacy Officer of the Education Coalition. In 2019, within the framework of the G7, under the French presidency, we have, for example, mobilised the general public through a shock campaign "Today school is over, but for 262 million children it has never started", to denounce the obstacles to education in countries affected by crises in order to call on the G7 leaders to take urgent action for education. "

A new mobilisation in 2021

Aide et Action is particularly proud and happy to take over the leadership of the Education Coalition. At a time when the VID-19 pandemic has seriously aggravated the global crisis that education was already going through, and faced with the risk of an explosion of inequalities and exclusions, we are aware that 2021 must be a year of unprecedented mobilisation for all the actors in education. Faced with these new challenges, the Education Coalition wishes to intensify its advocacy with public authorities and institutional actors, to further strengthen  French civil society and develop common expertise. 

The Education Coalition, which begins the year with a new triennium and a new leader, will spare no effort to achieve the goal of education for all and will pursue its mission with even greater intensity. Many challenges we are waiting, and we We will need all of you to continue to advance the right to quality education for all! "Charles Emmanuel Ballanger insists, International Director General of Aide et Action, Leader of the Education Coalition. 

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