Arab states need to empower their students to compete in an increasingly technology-driven and globalised world

September 21, 2010

Arab states need to empower their students to compete in an increasingly technology-driven and globalised world, an education expert has said.

“There are very few matters of greater urgency for us than equipping rising generations for the challenges of the future,” Mohammad Al Aziz Ibn Ashour, Director General of Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), said. “Our region has a fast-growing population and the economic infrastructure is inadequate to absorb millions of young people who will enter the labour market. We must give our young people the skills they need to compete in the current era of technological revolution and globalisation. A sustained initiative to raise educational attainment levels will also help the Arab world make major contributions to world development and civilization,” he said ahead of a two-day ministerial colloquium on quality education in Qatar.

Tunis-based ALECSO has been implementing an education development strategy throughout the Arab world which aims to guarantee quality by improving the results of the educational process

At the Doha meeting, education ministers and delegates from 18 Arab states are expected to discuss steps to improve quality of education in the Arab region at the meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, Qatari daily The Peninsula said.

Educational experts from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, as well as Poland and Mexico, two countries that have made strides in improving quality of education in recent years, will also address the meeting.

“For several years, Qatar has been taking part in international assessment mechanisms,” Saad Bin Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Qatar’s education minister, said. “I look forward to the creation of such a framework for the Arab world. I hope this will be one of the outcomes of this meeting, and that we are at the start of a process of historic significance for our region,” said

According to Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani, Qatar Foundation vice president, “there is abundant evidence that educational attainment is the main differentiator in the prospects of both individuals and nations.”

“We owe it to our children and grandchildren to ensure that their opportunities and quality of life meet international standards,” he said.

Steen L Jorgensen, Human Development Sector Director, World Bank — Middle East and North Africa Region, said that international experience shows that progress on quality of education can be achieved relatively quickly

“The first step is commitment at the highest level. This is clearly shown by the participation in this Colloquium,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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