Overseas: Education in Libya Part 1


gepostet am : 16-06-2013 | von : Koltermann | Kategorie : Autor, Education abroad, Gastautor
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Education in Libya, a critical Analysis of Higher Education Sector. Wir beginnen in unregelmäßiger Folge mit der Vorstellung von Bildungssystemen in der Welt. Dieser Gastbeitrag ist von Dr. M. Taghavi, London (Vice-Principal, Academic & Executive Programmes, IBEC, Tripoli, Libya, www.ibec.edu.ly).
M. Hermsdorf / pixelio.de
(Foto: M. Hermsdorf, pixelio.de)
For over forty years, the previous regime of Muammar Gaddafi had claimed that it had placed education and health on the top of the nation’s list of priorities. Since the early 1970s, education in Libya has been free to everyone from elementary school up to university level, at home or abroad. Schools were deliberately spread out throughout the country, with the policy of education reaching out even to nomadic hard-to-reach areas. Undoubtedly, as supported by the World Bank statistics, the literacy rate of 40% back in 1970, has now reached a staggering rate of 89% and this is significantly higher than that of the average MENA of around 77%.

Furthermore, according to the UN statistics, over the period 1970-2000 nearly 7-10 percent per annum of Libya’s GDP was allocated to and spent on different education and training programmes. Moreover, on the basis of the estimated measure of welfare, usually referred to as the “human development index”–HDI consisting of a weighted average of life expectancy, adult literacy, and GDP per capita-Libya scores 0.8 out of 1.0, slightly higher than that of the average MENA of 0.75, placing it among the top 50 nations in the world. However, since the opening up of Libya back in the early 2002 and the subsequent fall of the old regime in 2011, the validity and quality of such educational claims have been seriously doubted. Since then, due to availability of more channels of information and general trans-parency, a large number of schools and colleges have been identified as having delivered extremely poor quality of teaching and management of their  resources.
Uli Carthäuser pixelio.de
(Foto: Uli Carthäuser pixelio.de)

Following a thorough investigation, it has recently been reported that between the two poles of primary school and post graduate education, the system is “corroded by corruption, lack of  teachers’ motivation and poor management”. This issue was also highlighted in Porter (2006)  report on Libyan economy, stating that education policy “has failed to provide a job ready workforce, since the education system is disconnected from market demand”. It is further argued that education policy decisions have “negatively affected education inimportant areas for business such as IT and foreign languages.“

Teaching innovation and pedagogical development has been almost absent, even at the higher education level. This problem has been severely worsened since the early-1980s when the then regime ordered schools to stop teaching foreign languages, hence denying the nation of any progressive methods of teaching adopted by the Westerners.. Moreover, such policy had a detrimental effect on development and publication of academic research across board. In short, closeness to the regime rather than merits has been the main criterion for job security and promotion in public sector; and that had led to general demise of incentives and innovative efforts by teaching staff across the country.

In the light of these controversies, this paper attempts to analytically highlight, estimate and evaluate some of the imbalances between output and outcome of the state-run higher education sector in Libya under the previous regime. In so doing, the research has used a survey questionnaire of up to 200 lecturers/teachers/instructors and has applied a hill-climbing logit model to measure the causes and the extent of the poor quality in Libyan education system.

The article is structured in four parts.  Part 2  addresses some of the main issues relating to Libyan education system,  highlighting, in particular, aspects of budget allocation and productivity. In part 3 we present the survey data, econometric model and analysis of findings. Finally, part 4 offers the final discussion and policy implications of the study. Pinto (2012)5Porter (2006: 72).Suwaed (2011: 23)7. We are very much indebted to Ibrahim Saadfor letting us have access to part of his survey findings. Finally, part 4 offers the final discussions and policy implications of the study.

Die Mentoring4u Redaktion dankt dem
Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien مركز الدراسات الشرق أوسطية مرکز پژوهشهای خاور میانه Philipps-Universität Marburg für die Unterstützung.

(Autor: Dr. M. Taghavi (Vice-Principal, Academic & Executive Programmes, IBEC, Tripoli, Libya, www.ibec.edu.ly /  Bilder: M. Hermsdorf, Uli Carthäuser  / Quelle: Gastvortrag an der Universität Marburg Mai 2013 , pixelio.de)

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