Educational Quality in the Middle East and North Africa

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR)

The UNDP initiated a series of reports on the Arab region through the publication of itsArab Human Development Reports (AHDR).

UNDP's 2002 report, Creating Opportunities for Future Generations, devoted a chapter on education in the Arab region.  The report’s to educational quality centres on building human capabilities for knowledge acquisition in the region (AHDR 2002, p. 51).  It identifies gaps in literacy rates, pre-school education, school enrolment, and equity and affordability, particularly in the context of the rise of private schooling and private tuition (pp. 51-55).  

AHDR adopts a humanistic approach to solving these problems that puts human beings at the centre of its analysis.  It set forth broad strategic directions for reforming education based on ten key principles such as respecting the dignity of the individual; giving precedence to creativity; and making available equal educational opportunities (AHDR 2002, p. 55).  Today’s educational discourses rarely emphasize these types of principles as they often revolve around ideas of educational quality and measurement.