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Libya - Summary

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Qadhafi and the Free Officers Movement ushered in an era of monumental change that created universal education as its goal. Educational opportunities expanded in a very dramatic manner at breathtaking speed. This expansion, while good, occurred so fast that Libya ended up with an educational system of average quality. To its credit, education is free for all. Libyans still look down upon manual labor and trades, thus it remains difficult to recruit students for vocational and technical training. Despite making education free and compulsory, some children do not attend school and instead stay home to help their fathers herd camels and livestock in remote rural areas. Females, especially from ethnic minorities such as the Berbers, are more likely than males to miss school. Many rural families still do not believe that girls need an education and that their role is only to marry and produce strong families. Many feel that what schools teach is irrelevant to what a person needs to succeed in life. Illiteracy still makes it difficult to train some Libyans on the job or for job. Many adults do not want to learn anything beyond their special area of job related interest. Closed minds make it difficult to build an open and modern society. Libya's four universities produce thousands of qualified professionals annually, which brings Libya closer each year to its goal of libyanizing the economy. All things considered Libya has done remarkably well in the field of education when considering where they began in 1951.

Examinations, like most things in Libya, are centrally created and implemented. They have little value in terms of predicting future performance either in school or on a job. Decentralizing planning, implementation, and evaluation of examinations might improve the system in the future and make it more reliable. Regions should be allowed to plan their needs with input from the central government but not with centralized control. This prohibits creative solutions by those teachers closest to the problems who would know best how to remedy them. Central planning tracks students into careers for which they may have aptitude, but no interest. Career counselors in each school could work with students to encourage them to enter fields in which they have a genuine interest. This would reduce academic failure, student apathy, and accelerate the rate at which Libya reaches its goal of filling jobs with Libyan personnel.


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—Dallas L. Browne

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over 4 years ago

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