In its recent report on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the World Bank claimed education in the Arab world lags behind other regions and needs urgent reform. Entitled "The Road Not Traveled: Education Reform in the Middle East and North Africa," the study probed elementary, secondary and university level education.
"The relationship between education and economic growth in the MENA has remained weak, and the divide between education and unemployment has not been bridged," said the report, launched in Amman. "Countries in the region have made significant progress in reforming educational systems ... yet these achievements remain below other countries at similar levels of economic development."
Experts from the international body concluded that Arab states had to make improving education their top priority, because it went hand-in-hand with economic growth. The region had not seen the increasing literacy and school enrolment witnessed in Asia and Latin America, the report has indicated.
Djibouti, Yemen, Iraq and Morocco were ranked the worst educational reformers. Meanwhile, Jordan and Kuwait were the top educational reformers in the region.
According to the 399-page document, unemployment in the Arab world averages nearly 14 percent, which is higher than in other areas in the world except the Sub-Saharan Africa. Palestinian territories are worst, with unemployment at 25.6 percent.