Across the Arab region, a majority of people are dissatisfied with their country’s education systems and nearly half believe their country’s education systems are corrupt—for instance, requiring students to pay bribes to win admission to educational institutions.
These findings about public perceptions of education were just released by the Arab Barometer, one of the largest public-opinion research initiatives in the Arab region. Analysts stress that, as is usually the case, perceptions do not always line up perfectly with reality—education may be better or worse than the public believes.
But in general, experts say the results show that Arab public opinion is in line with the criticisms of experts who say that Arab education–a key public service—is frequently characterized by poor quality and an outdated approach that has done little to promote democracy or economic development.
“Most people are frustrated that education does not meet their needs or make them competitive in a globalizing world,” said Michael Robbins, director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative, which is run out of Princeton University.