Overseas: Libyan Education System: Success or Failure Part 2

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gepostet am : 16-07-2013 | von : Koltermann | Kategorie : Education abroad, Gastautor, Overseas
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Dieser Gastbeitrag ist von Dr. M. Taghavi, London (Vice-Principal, Academic & Executive Programmes, IBEC, Tripoli, Libya, www.ibec.edu.ly).

Of the total population of approximately 6 million in Libya, nearly 1.7 million are students. The latest figures suggest that of the total number of students, around 16% study at tertiaryl evel, including those in the higher technical and vocational sector. The number of such students has been growing at a phenomenal rate of 2.5% per annum since 1975. Pre-university schooling is divided into three sections of primary, preparatory and secondary; for which the first nine years of education are compulsory and are known as basic education.

The primary school is for six years, followed by the two-three year cycles of secondary school. Thus, the basic education consists of 6 years of primary and 3 years of secondary schooling. The basic level then allows students who drop out before completing the full nine years of the opportunity to enrol in vocational programmes of one to three years in length. Intermediate vocational training centres train students for various skills-based professions. Vocational schools offer programmes for 44 different vocations in seven major fields.
Anguane pixelio.de
(Durst, Anguane, pixelio.de)

Higher education in Libya is provided by universities (both general and specialised) and higher technical and vocational institutions. The higher education system is financed by, and under the authority of the state. Policymakers have in recent years allowed the establishment of private institutions of higher education through what are known as educational cooperation. Since the late 1990s, there has also been considerable research into the possibility of developing partnerships between the public and private sectors to finance higher education, which resulted in the establishment of more than five private university colleges and higher education institutes by the early 2000s. Education is free up to end of Bachelor’s Degree, but post-graduate studies are up to 75% subsidised.

Supply of free or subsidised higher education has led to massive rise in number of students in both universities and higher technical colleges. Between 2000 and 2010, the total number of higher education students rose from 256,000 to 330,000, representing an average increase of 3% per annum. Examination of other quantitatve indicators published by the World Bank are also indicativeof the fact that Libya had performed slightly better thanthe average MENA in rates of progression from primary to secondary schooling, and pupils/teacher ratio. Table 1 offers a summary of the contributions to health,  housing and education through public service budgets, over 2002-2008.

Uli Carthäuser pixelio.de
(Wüste am Morgen,  Uli-Carthäuser, pixilio.de)

Statistics suggest, in 2002, of the total GDP of 30 billion Libyan Dinars (€18 billion), a total sum of LYD 7.6 billion (25%) was allocated to allpublic service provisions; of which the share of education, being the smallest, is around 17% of total public spending, and just over 4% of GDP. By the end of 2008, however, when the real value of GDP was estimated at just over LYD 97 billion, the public services share of GDP dropped by 10 point percentage compared to that of 2002. The education spending, though increased in nominal term to LYD 3.3 billion, it only represented 3.4% of GDP – a real 1 point percentage drop compared to 2002. Thus, the education section real term has experienced a significant decline in its budget despite the fact that GDP has trebled in 2008 compared with that of 2002. Similar picture is demonstrated in this table regarding housing and health sectors.

On the whole, the relatively much higher decline in public spending may raise the issue that the regime may well  have squandered the national wealth. In relation to table 1, it can be said that over the same period, literally no or very little privatisation in education took place, having raised the issue that how the government fabricated and managed their data, claiming high spending and investment in education and other public services. On the whole, as reported by IMF (2008), throughout the period of 2000-08, the real fixed capital formation in education was substantially lower than one billion Libyan Dinars per annum, representing only around 1% of GDP, and that being significantly lower than the average MENA of 2.5%. In a market or a quasi-market environment, the budget allocation is justified by the productivity per employee in any given activity, be they public or private sectors. Naturally, it is anticipated, even in the most sophisticated market orientated public sectors, that productivity in the private sector to be higher than the public sector.

Joujou / pixelio.de
(Zu Sylvester – Gruß aus der Sahara, youyou, pixelio.de)

However, the concept of productivity does not apply to the case of Libya, as housing, health, education and most manufacturing activities are and have been owned and controlled by the state. A better concept here to use is the budget per-head, assuming all public sector employees are of similar abilities and productivity. Table 2 presents the latest (2008) data on total workforce in the economy and in different activities of the public sector. Including the non-Libyan nationals, the total employees stand at 1.8 million, with nearly 1 million working in the public services (55% of total workforce).The largest employment is in the education department with nearly half million workers, sharing between them LYD 3.3 billion, making a per capita of only LYD 6,800 – nearly one-third of that of housing; one-quarter of the health sector and less than half of the overall public services employees.


In short
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the education sector has, for years, been offered significantly lower pay or allocated much smaller capital investment than the rest of the public services. Indeed, it must be borne in mind that such differences in budget per head, in part, may be due to differences in unit costs of the service provision. For example, provision of health care per unit is significantly higher than schooling. Although unit cost differences are critical, the extent of it bound not to be as high as shown in table 2. The findings in table 2 may be regarded as one of the reasons why the education sector in Libya has been lacking incentive, innovation and development.

Dieser Link führt Sie zum ersten Teil.

(Autor: Dr. M. Taghavi (Vice-Principal, Academic & Executive Programmes, IBEC, Tripoli, Libya, www.ibec.edu.ly) Bilder: www.pixelio.de)

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