The Middle East Needs Ed Reform

by Robert Pondiscio
February 6th, 2008

This blog has enough on its plate with curriculum, teaching, and ed policy issues in our own country, but a story about education reform in the Arab world got our attention this morning. A World Bank study shows the quality of education in the Middle East and North Africa is not keeping up with the needs of the changing and increasingly globalized economy.

“This is a very youthful region where 60 percent of the population is under 30 years of age,” says Marwan Muasher, a senior World Bank official who was responsible for the report’s preparation. “Close to 100 million new jobs need to be created in the next 10 to 15 years in the Arab world. If we are to create such jobs, then we have to start with improving the educational systems.”

She Had Me at Turkmenistan

by Robert Pondiscio
February 6th, 2008

This You Tube video of a toddler who can do what few high school students can do—ID nearly every country on a world map—has been viewed over two million times. Thus, I’m probably the last person to have heard about it. At an age when most kids would be happy merely to be put in front of a video of Madagascar, she can actually find it on a map.

Other than David Tyree’s catch, it’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen all week.