The lack of education is the kind of poverty that most adversely affects the economic, social and cultural development of a country. Education is an empowering process that enables individuals to contribute to the creation of more sustainable, just and innovative communities and nations.
The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region devotes around 5.4% of its public expenditure to education, at par with North America; however, the World Bank (2010) has identified several challenges currently being faced by Arab countries. First of all, there is an important gap between what education systems currently deliver and what the region needs to achieve its development objectives. The region has produced fewer educational outcomes than many competitors, as measured by years of educational attainment in the adult population. Educational achievements to date are in part compromised by high dropout rates, and relatively low scores on international tests.
In the case of Kuwait, although the level of expenditure in education is higher than the EU average, the outcomes are not even comparable. Kuwaiti students still rank near the bottom of the list in international benchmarking exams (e.g. TIMMS and PIRLS) and the low university enrolment rate (27%) indicates that the current labor market structure does not provide incentives for most Kuwaitis to pursue a higher education. Moreover there is a substantial lack, particularly in public schools, of environmental and civic education, which is an essential component of fostering the development of the next generation of conscientious and responsible citizens.
For all of these reasons, education has always been one of en.v’s main priorities, both in Kuwait and in the region.