Education in GCC Countries is Expected to Grow is Response to Demand for International and Tech-Driven Schooling

Education plays a key role in shaping a country’s economy and overall development. So it goes to follow that widespread economic growth in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has encouraged governments in these areas to develop their education systems. With oil revenue providing the necessary finances to improve education, the K-12 education market in GCC countries is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.03% from 2014-2019.

Top Trends in Education in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE

Demand for international education

The rise in disposable incomes has encouraged parents to try and acquire a better standard of education for their children, which has boosted the growth of private schools.

The region has also seen a significant increase in expats, which currently account for about 30% of the population. This has helped foster the growth of international schools in GCC countries.

The high-quality of education, infrastructure, and the amenities offered by international schools justifies their high fee structure. In 2014, the UAE continued to dominate the international school market in GCC countries with the presence of more than 400 schools. To take advantage of this ongoing trend, many international education providers are setting up branch campuses in GCC countries in order to consolidate their local and regional operations to generate more revenue.

Demand for technology-driven education

Over the past few years, GCC countries have increased their focus on technology to build their R&D and enhance their capacity for innovation.

To improve the global competitiveness of their education systems, governments in GCC countries are focusing on encouraging the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education, which will ultimately play into the development of high achieving smart schools over the forecast period.

Provision of quality education

The quality of primary education in GCC countries is still below that in developed nations. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Arab World Competitiveness Report reasserts the importance of quality education for improving the position of GCC countries in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index. It recommends policies that include implementing specific education initiatives to align the supply and demand of skills, and foster links between foreign enterprises and local suppliers.

Ongoing Female Illiteracy

Female illiteracy is a bane for the entire GCC region in terms of its social and economic costs. Though some efforts have been made by individual countries to provide better education for women, it has not been sufficient. Coupled with the political turmoil in the Middle East, the plight of women’s education is expected to remain grim in GCC countries for some time, which will ultimately impact the growth of the K-12 education market in the area.