Education is the acquisition of knowledge and skills through learning. Education is also a way of enlightening of society to bring values that benefit the society. Institutions of learning worldwide impart the society with education as deem it as the key to success. Many third world countries lag behind with regard to economic, social and technological development because of the low standards of education in these countries (Aggarwal, & Aggarwal, 1990). These developing countries must have the required knowledge and skills for the sake of advancement as individual nations.
Governments in developing countries are working very hard to ascertain quality education in their educational institutions to ensure its citizens are at par with the educated people in more developed countries. This is due to the daily challenges brought by economic problems and other risks in these regions. To a certain level, these Third World countries have thrived in their campaign for quality education. The main setback is that quality education comes with a cost and many people in Third World countries are frequently not able to pay the cost. Consequently, even if quality education is available, it is inaccessible for a large part of a developing country's population (Hardcastle, 2011).
State of education with special reference to Middle East and North Africa
In every country in the Middle East and North Africa, free publicly given education has been a main tenant of the social treaty since independence. In line with this, post-independence governments considerably expanded their education systems. This was primarily due to the need to encourage nationhood and to set up political legality, popular support for new regimes through turning education a basic right of nationality and quickly increasing youth populations. Offering fundamental education is the main challenge in the Arab nations because population growth in these countries is among the uppermost in the world. Nevertheless, with few exemptions, education systems in the area now offer basic education to most children. Education is necessary through the primary grades universally, and through lower secondary grades in some nations. Moreover, most nations have attained a considerable secondary enrolment and raises general primary enrolment. However, a few countries saw minor reductions in tertiary enrolment ratios in the 1990s since its growth has been less remarkable (Akkari, 2004).
Definitely, it is evident that third world nations have educational institutions, which provide education that can challenge that offered by wealthier countries around the world. In addition, there is an apparent recognition of the role that education plays in reducing poverty and adversity. India, Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, much of South America and several of the Persian Gulf Arab States, are among the third world countries that have outstanding educational systems (Hardcastle, 2011). Akkari (2004) adds that in the Middle East and North Africa, literacy advanced noticeably from 1960 to 1995, more than doubling in each country, each beginning from a very low base-rate. On the other hand, nations with very noteworthy rural populations (Morocco, Yemen and Egypt) also have less adult literacy rates since literacy increases more speedily in urban areas.
Apparently, the poorest of the poor in these nations will have a difficult time getting into the best schools in their locality. Moreover, even if there are always scholarship programs accessible, they are often very few hence cannot cater for every one. It is also evident that people who are considerably very poor concentrate primarily with more needy issues concerned with their mere survival, for instance where to find food and money for clothing and shelter. Parents actually focus on their children's education only after meeting these basic needs. According to studies, the first precedence of most poor families after meeting their basic economic requirements is how to take their children to a good school (Hardcastle, 2011). Akkari (2004) further indicates that literacy in these countries is at least 20 per cent lower among women. For instance, only one in nine can read in Yemen and only one in ten rural women can read and write in Morocco.
Statistics indicate that the in the whole North Africa and Middle East, almost 4 million children who are between the ages of 11 and 15 and another 5 million children aged 6 to 10 years were out of school in 1995. Surprisingly, these figures might grow by more than 40 per cent, to 5.6 million and 7.5 million correspondingly by 2015. More than 70 percent of these out of schoolchildren were in Morocco Yemen and Egypt. These statistics imply that many children leave school before completing required education in third world countries. For instance, in Tunisia, approximately a third of those who enrolled in first grade dropped out before completing the seven-year fundamental cycle in the early 1990s (Akkari, 2004).
Statistics in Sudan reveal that out of an average family of 10, only one has gone through formal education. This means that individuals in high positions in businesses and employment are mainly foreigners. This is unlike Kenya whereby nine out of ten children have gone through formal education. In India, the only 46% of the population has had formal education (Aggarwal, & Aggarwal, 1990). Due to backward cultures, most of the women in these countries do not attend school. This is especially so in Sudan whereby considerable number of young energetic men have lost their lives. In such a situation, only the illiterate women and the elderly men, who cannot change, are left. There is a need to give equal opportunities to both boys and girls with regard to education.
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Education levels in Sudan have remained static. This is due to war disruptions in the country. For 30years, Sudan has been warring against itself and therefore education infrastructure has been destroyed (Books, LLC, 2010). In India, low education levels are because of the high poverty levels in the country (Aggarwal, & Aggarwal, 1990).
The youth of any country must receive education because it is only through knowledge that they can be able to make informed decisions that involve their lives. Additionally, they must be equipped with skills that enable them obtain jobs for their individual careers. The current world trends dictate that economic, social and political advancement go hand in hand with education. The best jobs are for the educated whereas the hard and laborious jobs belong to the less educated.
On the other hand, the productive age must have the required knowledge that allows career advancement and technological know how to get fundamental information on their careers, businesses and the other ways of developing their countries. In fact, this is the largest group that makes up any nation. In order for any nation to have prosperity, the youth of that country must be resourceful. This means that they must have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills through education for them to move their country to the next economic level.
Leaders must also acquire the necessary leadership skills through acquisition of knowledge and skills. Healthy politics involves a clear understanding of the needs on the ground of citizens. Dictatorship in third world countries is because of lack of proper training on leadership skills that enable leaders to appreciate citizens and practice basic human rights (Aggarwal, & Aggarwal, 1990).
Every individual who gains education, especially in these developing countries stands a chance of getting a good paying white-collar job that enables one to leave their mostly poverty stricken lives. Through salaries, an individual can invest in stock markets or any other lucrative business venture and help other members of his family. In fact, education is part of the basic human rights entitled to every individual.
The government must always support its citizens in education by providing free education systems, offering bursaries and scholarships to bright but needy students and providing further support needed. The trend of money set aside for education in military expenses and the rest due to corruption in developing countries has only ended in the pockets of corrupt leaders.
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The society must understand that educating their children is providing a secure future for them. The elderly in these countries have realized that education is the only way of eradicating poverty. Children from developing countries realize that to get out their current states, they must acquire knowledge and skills.
Schools in these regions are not easily accessible. However, governments have put in place measures to build more schools. Enrollment in schools have improved, especially so because of the introduction of free primary education to children. Moreover, there is enrolment of more girls.
Developing countries must take into consideration the millennium development goals, as pertains to education. The introduction of free education is the key. Additionally, technological services offer a wholesome kind of knowledge. Governments must divert the most funds after food toward education.
The society can offer free lunch for primary and secondary students as incentives in bringing them to school. Countries that have adopted this strategy such as Kenya have enrolled large numbers of pupils in primary schools. Most of the children do not go to school, as they have to look for food and sometimes work in informal sectors.
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Education in the developing countries is developing in significant ways despite the many challenges that it faces. The need for extra and broader educational changes in the developing nations is a factor of constant political and economic restructuring. Contemporary teachers should teach students the practical skills that they need to function efficiently in the future world. Policy makers and Governments in these countries should incorporate adequate and result-oriented strategies that will ensure the continuity of quality education.
It is without a doubt that those who have attained education in developed countries have been successful and get the best employment available even in other countries. Education enlightens and therefore individuals with knowledge and skills could make the most fascinating and beneficial discoveries for humankind.