Access to equitable and good quality public education is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against inequality. Education provides marginalised people with a ‘virtual’ income, which boosts opportunities for marginalised people, and increases the likelihood of social mobility.
Education can be a great equalizer and contribute to transforming unequal power structures into equitable social and political relations, where people are empowered and participate actively in decision-making. On top of this, gender transformative education empowers and protects girls: it delays the age of which girls/women have children, it increases women economic opportunities, and educated girls are more likely to have healthy and educated children while uneducated girls are more likely to suffer gender-based violence.
Transformative education is a prerequisite for active citizenship. To achieve the full transformative power of education, it must be of good quality, equitable and transformative.
Oxfam IBIS advocates for education that is free, universal, publicly provided, adequately and equitably funded, with well-supported teachers, and strong state systems that provide accountable public oversight.
We will advocate for ‘transformative education’: education where learners can actively participate on equitable terms despite their socio-economic status, and where the students learn about their rights, democratic values and how to be active citizens by influencing duty-bearers.
As we partner with organisations working in landscapes where technology infrastructure is poor and where education and literacy levels are low, we will explore how new and affordable technologies can contribute to reinforce gender balanced quality education, including innovative digital solutions targeting low-skilled and low-literate youth and adults.
Oxfam IBIS has a particular responsibility to successfully cascade it within the Oxfam confederation, integrating it into the strategic frameworks, ensuring joint knowledge development, and leading global advocacy efforts on quality education.
This exceptional role within Oxfam, requires us to invest significant resources and attention to this area in the coming years. Within Oxfam, we work through ECPI (Education Community of Practice and Influence) to leverage the full potential of the confederation in our fight for quality education for all.