GCC’s education sector: Paving the way ahead

GCC’s education sector: Paving the way ahead

Benjamin Franklin said: "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.“

Recognising education as a fundamental stepping stone to economic and social development, several nations worldwide have invested heavily in their academic spaces. Effective collaborations between the government, the private sector, and educational institutions in developed countries have helped curate thriving academic ecosystems to further develop technologically advanced and sustainable economies.

Regionally, the Gulf states have also recognised the significance of creating a progressive academic infrastructure and earmarked a sizeable chunk of their budgets for educational purposes.

For 2020, the UAE government allocated Dhs10.4bn ($2.83bn) towards public, higher education and university programmes. Of that amount, the estimated costs for public education programmes stand at Dhs6.7bn ($1.82bn) while higher and university education is expected to cost Dhs3.7bn ($1.01bn).

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia allocated a whopping SAR193bn ($51.38bn) for the education sector in 2020, amounting to 18.9 per cent of the annual budgeted expenditure.

"Sector priorities for 2020 budgeted expenditure are consistent with recent years, with education, military and healthcare accounting for more than 50 per cent of total allocations,“ a KPMG report read.

"The education sector plays a vital role not only in increasing the employment rate in Saudi Arabia, but also in increasing the desired skills for the labour market. The Ministry of Education has taken numerous