Opinion: Time for Quality in Libyan Education

This week Tripoli hosts Education Libya 2009, the 6th Annual International Education Exhibition at Tripoli Inter-national Fairgrounds from 19-21 October. The event is supported by the General People’s Committee for Education and Scientific Research, the General Infor-mation Authority, Educational Aids Auth-ority, Al-Fatah University and the Aca-demy of Graduate Studies.

The exhibition coincides with the publication this month of the British newspaper, the Times, of its annual list of top universities of the world. UK and US universities as usual dominate the list with no Arab or African universities present in the top 200. This is despite all the resources that are spent by oil rich countries such as Libya and the Gulf states.

The well-known study of Libya conducted by the NES and Professor Porter’s Monitor Group identified IT, management and language skills as the main areas Libya needed to urgently improve in order to upgrade the global competitiveness of the Libyan economy.

The report considered education as ‘a vital driver of competitiveness’ that Libya seeks desperately in its various sectors as it seeks to diversify away from oil and gas.

However, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 Libya is ranked 88th out of 132 – scoring in the bottom one-third in all important education/training/skills indicators.

This low ranking is despite the fact the NES/Monitor study reporting that Libya spends approximately 4% of GDP on education – averaging between LD 1.2-1.9 billion per year, over the past five years…read more

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