Ever since I began my theme on global education, I have noticed that the problem faced by many undeveloped countries is not the quantity but quality of education (e.g., lack of resources and qualified teachers). In essence, many undeveloped countries are not providing students with the tools essential for 21st century learning. But then again, what after all is quality education?
This is the task that Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) looks to answer every four years in the MENA region. The MENA region consistently ranks among the top in international rankings concerning quantity of schools. However, the regions’ failure to sustain economic growth highlights the quality of its schools in preparing students for a global and competitive economy. TIMSS aims to assess math and science proficiency at the fourth and eighth grade levels.
The results from a 2007 TIMSS painted a grim picture of schooling in the MENA region. The scores from thirteen countries in the region were below the global average. The results show that students didn’t have the proper resources and/or were taught by unqualified teachers. However, recent results from the 2011 study saw improvements for students though those scores are still behind the global average. I am curious to see if results from the 2015 study will show continued improvement.