Overview of education development in the Arab region: insights and recommendations towards SDGs

A book titled An Overview of Education Development in the Arab Region: Insights and Recommendations Towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is released by SLIBNU-ALECSO ‘Smart Education’ Joint Lab. The book is an outcome of the Open Interactive Database Project, in collaboration between the Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).

Authored by Dejian Liu, Mohamed Jemni, Ronghuai Huang, Yiping Wang, Ahmed Tlili and Salah Sharhan, this book aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the education development in the Arab region. Important issues, such as education access and inclusiveness, were highlighted. The book reveals that major efforts have been made by many Arab countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, over the past decade to improve education access. In terms of education inclusiveness, the authors found that gender disparity in primary and secondary education usually favors males. However, in most Arab countries, gender disparity in higher education favors females.

Several challenges in education are identified in the book. For instance, in many Arab countries universal primary education has not been achieved, the education expenditure is inadequate, and the quality of education needs to be improved. The book also illustrates how conflicts in the Arab region can cause deterioration in education. The authors suggest that to face these challenges and improve access and quality of education in the Arab region, international collaboration, integration of next generation information technology and utilization of Open Education Resources (OER) are necessary.