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Education Participation Paradox

It would be interesting to understand the “education participation” paradox that has been impacting Arab societies. Over the past three decades, female literacy and enrollment in secondary and post-secondary levels have significantly increased. Yet, their participation rates have remained stable. It would be intuitively expected that with more education, more women would be employable and more job opportunities would become available to them. This, however, has not been the case which creates an interesting paradox. Some argue that the educational system has been concentrating more on the quantity of educational variables at the expense of quality. In addition, the supply side of the equation (educational outputs) has not been able to match the demand side (market needs).19 This has led to an educational system that is not attuned to employment needs. Slow economic growth complicates the story as many educated people do not find the jobs that match their skills and educational backgrounds, and thus they end up occupying jobs below their skill levels.

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