May 26, 2009

Poverty does not mean a dearth of money but it means under utilization of available resources, absence of want for the wealth of education, health and social amities. (Amjad Ali)

Ready for tomorrow? A glance at Education in the Islamic world with a focus on higher education.


We are passing through the first intellectual revolution where knowledge is a pervasive factor of production. Countries which have ample brain capital they are surpassing the others. Islamic countries are rich in natural and human resources. In this study an attempt has been made to see if the Islamic world is well prepared for tomorrow.
In this research 24 Muslim countries with the largest population have been included. These countries represent 92% (1.12 Billion) of the Muslim population living in the Islamic countries. Four non-Muslim countries, UK, France, South Korea and Israel, have also been included in this study in order to make comparisons. To assess and evaluate condition of education in these 28 countries multiple indicators were selected; total population, population growth rate, total GDP, per capita GDP, total and per pupil expenditure on education, total enrolment and participation ratio in education at different levels with a focus on female education, student teacher ratio and number of universities as well as world ranked universities. For this purpose primary data was collected from UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Association of Universities.
The analysis of data shows that there is under-investment in education at all levels, in all Muslim countries; in many countries education systems are outdated; education is faced with lower participation ratio and quality of the higher education is questionable. In a nutshell Islamic countries are not well prepared for tomorrow and there is an urgent need to make education the first priority with a focus on human capital formation and brain capital development.


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