Libya - Building the Future with Youth Challenges for Education and Employability

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This study was commissioned by the General People's Committee for Education and Scientific Research in Libya as part of the Libyan-German partnership project 'Improving the quality of Basic and Specialised Secondary Education'. It was included in the focus on strengthening the linkages between the education system and society needs, in particular, the labour market. The education system in Libya faces many challenges and has been described in 'Libya at the Dawn of a New Era: Improving Competitiveness in the Global Economy' (General Planning Council of Libya 2006) as disconnected from the demands of the job market which needs a 'job ready' workforce. As economic experts have stated, there is an urgent need to develop a human resources strategy in Libya and to review the education system so that a better match can be made between skills acquired in formal education and the requirements of a modern economy. This study was planned in late 2008, with the public presentation of the final report made to the General People's Committee for Education and Scientific Research in February 2010. Research was conducted in Benghazi, Merqeb, Sabha and Tripoli with parents and students at grade 9 and 12 level, and grade 12 students in Misrata - all regions which are crucial in the current political context. Altogether, close to 4,000 people participated in the study, approximately 3,500 of them students and the others parents, educators, and education officials. Two chapters in the report summarise specific findings related to grade 9 and grade 12. The research has produced some conclusive results, briefly noted here at the outset. While results cannot claim to be representative of the whole of Libya, they show trends which are significant considering the scope of the study sample. There is a clear pattern of students in their final year of secondary education preferring to work in government/public domains, which is of concern considering that Libya already offers sixty-six per cent of all employment to its citizens in the public sector - one of the highest in the MENA region. This has implications for a country looking more and more to privatization and entrepreneurship for its youth.


Adele M.E. Jones

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