In 2014, the Brookings Institute released a report into the state of education in the Middle East, examining educational data which indicated the success or otherwise of education systems in the region. Whilst the data in some cases pointed to positive developments, the results overall suggested that (in common with many parts of the world) there is still much to be done before access to meaningful education is a reality for all in the Middle East.
Years of conflict and upheaval in parts of the region have left countless young people throughout the Middle East with serious gaps in their formal education, with many never having had the opportunity to enter a classroom. But as the findings of the Brookings report demonstrate, it is not only those in areas of turmoil missing out on the opportunities afforded by a decent education. Questions remain as to the effectiveness of education systems in all of the region's countries.
In particular, despite an improvement in the percentage of children entering school and completing a formal education, the data demonstrated that a staggering 50 percent of the region’s children attending school are not learning basic skills. The reasons behind this and other alarming statistics contained in the report are as diverse as the region itself, and finding the solutions will not be easy. However, as educational stakeholders, there are lessons we can all take from the findings of the Brookings Institute in our quest to provide learners in this region with better education and learning outcomes.
Over the coming weeks and months, this blog will be a forum through which some of the world’s leading thinkers, commentators and achievers in education will identify and voice their views on what can and should be done to overcome the vast educational challenges facing our region. Topics (and opinions!) will be wide-ranging, reflecting the region’s contrasting cultural, religious, geographic, economic and political landscapes.
This blog will focus not only on how we can draw on the latest and most innovative thinking in the education space to help those struggling the hardest in the education stakes, but how we can make even the most effective and successful education systems better. We will hear from technology gurus, who spend their lives devoted to delivering on the promise of improving learning outcomes in the digital age. We will learn from leaders and innovators across all aspects of education, addressing issues such as teacher professional development, English language learning, scalable education reform and teacher leadership. Our expert bloggers will analyse how changes in thinking, new technologies, innovation and reform across the education sector can provide all educators, from individual teachers to large institutions, with the tools to drive real improvement in educational effectiveness and outcomes in the Middle East.
At Pearson Middle East, we are committed not only to providing up-to-date, innovative and relevant learning resources and solutions, but to helping drive the conversation and collaboration needed to deliver this improvement in the region. With that in mind, we look forward to engaging with our readers. Topic and guest blogger suggestions are welcome, and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.