Arab youth unsatisfied with education systems, shows survey

Around 97 percent of survey respondents believe education plays a vital role in curbing unemployment

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About 46 percent of youths in Arab countries feel that education system in their countries was dismal and incapable of producing quality graduates, a recent study by Beirut-based Arab Thought Foundation said.

The study also said 97 percent of those surveyed believe that education plays a vital role in solving rampant unemployment. It is only through education the Arab World could overcome the huge challenge – creating 80 million jobs by 2020, it said.

The Arab world has the highest unemployment rate with one in every four youths struggling to get a job.

The study “Creating new job opportunities in the Arab world enhances regional solidarity” was based on a survey covering 350 people from 20 Arab countries, Al-Watan Arabic daily said.

The 64-page study indicated that only 15 percent of those taking part described the education system in their countries as very good or excellent compared with other systems around the world. It noted that 41 percent of participants from the Gulf region viewed education system in their countries as capable of producing quality graduates equipped with necessary skills for the expanding job market.

Interestingly, the number of qualified job seekers in the Gulf is relatively less than that in Arab countries; however, the latter’s labor markets do not have sufficient opportunities for their qualified citizens.

The study concluded with an emphasis on the importance of regional solidarity. Majority of participants were not optimistic that the Arab countries can change the status quo and increase the existing abysmal level of solidarity. Only 12 percent of them were satisfied at the current solidarity level.

Countries covered in the survey included: Algeria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Somalia and Tunisia.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.

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