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Other titles in the Mena Development Report series:
The Road Not Traveled the Road Not Traveled: Education Reform in the Middle East and North Africa Education Reform in the Middle East and North Africaby World Bank Group
Synopses & Reviews
'The Road Not Traveled: Education Reform in the Middle East and North Africa Region' evaluates the impact of past investment in education in the region and proposes a new approach to future education reforms. The book shows that the region has invested heavily in education, and was able to make remarkable progress. Most eligible children, boys and girls, are now enrolled at different levels of instruction. Fertility and infant mortality rates as well as life expectancy have all improved. However, the contribution of past investments in education to economic growth, poverty reduction and income distribution were modest. Moreover, the education systems are not fully prepared to deal with the increasing role of knowledge in economic development, an emerging youth bulge and the growing financial constraints on expending education. Nor are most economies of the region prepared to absorb an increasingly educated labor force in dynamic and productive sectors. Thus, the region must travel a new road.This new road has two pillars: the first is an approach to education reform that focuses on incentives and public accountability, beside the education process itself; the other emphasizes closing the gap between the supply of educated individuals and labor demand both internally and externally. Despite its density and rich economic content, the book is intended to be read, discussed and utilized by a diverse and wide regional audience, including policy-makers, civil society and academia, both inside and outside the education sector.
Book News Annotation:
According to recent research, investment in education in this region has produced remarkable progress. Most eligible boys and girls are enrolled, life expectancy has improved. However, it still appears that past investments in education have made only modest progress in economic growth, poverty reduction and income distribution. In addition the current educational systems are not prepared to handle neither the increasing role of knowledge in economic development nor the demographic bulge of incoming students, and many countries are not prepared to absorb high educated technology workers. This analysis focuses on educational reform that focuses on incentives and public accountability and also on the gap between the supply of educated workers and labor demand. Particularly telling are the sections on the current educational system's impact on migration and local labor conditions. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Road Not Traveled assesses the contribution of investment in education to economic growth, better income distribution and poverty reduction in the MENA region. It explores the possible explanatory variables for the weak link between the accumulation of human capital and economic outcomes, arguing that this weakness is due to two factors: weak incentives and public accountability in education; weak and distorted domestic labor markets and inappropriate migration policies. On the basis of comparative analysis of 14 MENA countries, the book offers a new approach to education reform for the region, which may also be applicable to other developing countries.
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