Qatar’s thrust on quality education was reflected in the country’s huge allocation of $6.04bn for the sector in 2012, a report shows.
According to Meed, the country spends about 4.1% of GDP on education, which it said is the “highest in the region”.
An unprecedented surge in public expenditure on education reforms throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will continue in 2013, as spending takes a bigger share of government spending, Meed said.
According to the latest data from the World Bank, public expenditure on education in the region stands at 18.6% of total government spending compared to the world average of 14.2%.
“This year promises to be an exciting time for the education sector throughout the region as governments allocate more resources for education reforms across the board. In anticipation of comprehensive reforms, we have adopted the theme ‘Smart Learning and Technological Advances in Education’ and developed a programme that will help various stakeholders to create and implement initiatives that will leverage technology to raise the quality of education in this part of the world,” said Matt Thompson, project director, F&E Group, organisers of the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS), the region’s leading educational exhibition.
In recognition of the exhibition’s important contributions to the education sector in the UAE and the rest of the region, GESS, along with the Global Education Forum (GEF), has received the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as the support of the UAE Ministry of Education.
The region’s leading educational expo is set to take place between March 5 and 7 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
“GESS and GEF have both become an important platform for sharing global best practices in education reform as well as highlighting significant trends, specifically the technological advances, that have an impact on the development and future of teaching and learning in the region,” said Humaid Mohamed al-Qutami, who underscored the important role education plays in the continued progress of the UAE.
Elsewhere in the region, Bahrain has increased its commitment to education through the National Project to Develop Education and Training and a focus on E-learning is a cornerstone of the Schools Improvements Project (SIP).
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Education is focusing development efforts on reforming teaching methods and the national curriculum; and is likewise promoting the effective use of information and communications technology in the classroom.
Massive budget increases are boosting education reforms in Oman, thanks to an $800mn budget increase for education last year.
In Saudi Arabia, the government appropriated $40bn to education and training in 2011. Investment in human capital has become a top priority for the Saudi Government, as spending on education has more than tripled since 2000. The budget includes plans to build 610 new schools in addition to the 3,200 already under construction.
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