Solberg leads international summit in Oslo

Prime Minister Erna SolbergOSLO.Prime Minister Erna Solberg.Photo : Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Oslo will host when 25 heads of state and political leaders gather to discuss new ideas on how to ensure schooling for children of the world. Save the Children fears growing inequality and comes with its own recommendations.

– Investments in education are an investment in the rest of society. If we put education first, the world will reap substantial gains in terms of development and prosperity, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement ahead of the summit on Monday.

Nearly 60 million children worldwide receive no schooling, and education lacks billions in investment money.

Solberg last year launched an international commission with almost 30 members who must try to strengthen funding and bring in more resources.

One of the ideas to be discussed in Oslo is affordable private schools.

Tuition fees

Save the Children fear the idea affordable private schools may go against the UN sustainability goal to ensure equal access to free primary education for boys and girls.

– The problem with these schools is tuition. Children should have the right to education without having to pay for it, says Nora Ingdal, head of Save the Children’s education work.

– Another aspect is that more private education leads to even more inequality in society. There are also differences between different groups of vulnerable children, such as in poor families who must choose whether to send the sons or daughters to school, says Ingdal.

– Tuition at private schools can be around one dollar a day. For poor children, this is a lot, she stated.

According to figures from the World Bank one in five children are in a private school. The number is increasing in several developing countries.


– To give children and youth quality education can be an overwhelming challenge, but we can make an important difference if World leaders go along with teacher unions, international organizations, private sector, civil society and others, says Erna Solberg.

The Commission shall visit Norway to complete the recommendations of the UN Secretary General.

– We at Save the Children find it very exciting to discuss this with the Commission, and we look at it as a great opportunity. Norway takes proper responsibility, said Ingdal.

Along with several other organizations, Save the Children compiled a list of several proposals they will present to the Commission. Prevention of inequality is one of the main points.

Among the guests in Oslo is the Commission’s chairman, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, presidents of Malawi, Indonesia and Chile.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today