Qatar tops in human development index
Dubai, August 25, 2014
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar were ranked in the very high’ category in the United Nations Human Development Index (UNHDI), said a leading expert.
Karim Daoud, managing director of Pearson’s Middle East Hub, said the index measures a country’s level of human development against three basic dimensions - a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and standard of living.
Qatar, which was ranked 31 out of 187 countries, was the highest ranking of the Arab states, while Saudi Arabia and UAE ranked 34 and 40 respectively, he said.
The access to knowledge under the Index is measured by the mean number of years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a lifetime by people 25 years or older, and the expected years a child of school entry age can expect to receive.
“Governments in the GCC have invested heavily in their education systems over the past few years, with the percentage of total government spending allocated to education in countries such as Saudi Arabia at around 25 per cent, or $56 billion. The results of Gulf states in independent, international education tables such as the 2014 UNHDI suggests that education reform in these countries – backed by sizeable public and private investment – is working,” said Daoud.
“As the world’s largest education company, Pearson is dedicated to the cause of efficacy in education – determining what in an education system does or does not lead to improved outcomes for individuals. The results of the latest Human Development Index are therefore very interesting to Pearson as we seek to understand how education systems can best help the individuals and communities they seek to benefit.”
The UNHDI is one of the many data sources used by the Learning Curve, a comprehensive analysis of education systems put together by Pearson and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The Learning Curve, which this year featured country profiles for both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, aims to help learners, educators and governments identify common elements of an effective education, said a statement.
One of the most important findings of the Learning Curve has been the correlation it has established between education and economic growth. Whilst it has long been assumed by education policy makers, a nation’s productivity can now be statistically linked to the average amount of time spent in school, it said.
This link between education and the economic fortunes of both individuals and countries makes it important for governments to embed effective education systems, and governments in the Gulf are keenly aware of this connection, said Daoud.
“The human development ratios of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have all undergone a remarkable improvement since the first Index was released in 1980,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service