Education > Background: Countries Compared

Cuba The Cuban government has placed a large degree of important on education, with 18.7% the largest percentage of GDP spent on education by any government. The enthusiasm is evidently felt on both sides, with the school life expectancy of 12 years surpassing the duration of compulsory education by three years. Meanwhile, enrollment in tertiary education has enjoyed a stead increase, with the the numbers enrolling between 1982 and 2002 growing from 173,000 to 236,000.
Egypt Egypt boasts a literacy rate amongst young people of 84.93%, but that falls behind 11 other African Nations, the leader of that group being Equatorial Guinea (94.96%). However, it still marks are major improvement from 1990 figures when only 61.32% of the 15-24 age group were considered literate. And, with the 2nd highest primary school completion rate in the continent, 98%, that level should change. In Africa, only Tunisia and South Africa currently have higher, with 99% completion.
Ethiopia Education is considered an important sector. In 2005, 19.4% of government spending going to education. However, the sector does have its problems, with the pupil-teacher ratio at primary school level the 4th highest in the world, at 72.28 students to each teacher and just 55% of children of primary school-going age actually completing primary education. In fact, Ethiopia has the 5th highest rate of primary school girls out of school, with 84% not attending classes.
Ghana Ghana has one of the largest number of primary school children out of school, with more than 1.1 million not attending classes. That is the 4th highest number, behind Pakistan (6.3 million), Niger (1.3 million) and Burkina Faso (1.2 million). That primary school completion rate is a low 72%, placing the country 96th in the world, but the take up of secondary education places is even lower, with just under 31% of children completing secondary level enrollment.
Iran In recent decades, the Iranian government has made concerted efforts to improve the national education system. For that reason, Iran's public spending on education has consistently been amongst the top 20, with 22.85% of government spending in 2005 the 9th highest rate globally. The result has been a dramatic reduction in the number of children out of school, falling from 1.7 million in 2000 to just 306,852 five years later. The literacy rate amongst adults, meanwhile, have also increased, growing from 63.16% in 1990 to 77% in 2006.
Japan Japan is famous for its technological cleverness, and its education system has long been producing graduates highly literate in the sciences. In 2000, surveys carried out by the OECD revealed Japanese 15-year-olds were world leaders in mathematical literacy (557), and 2nd in scientific literacy (550) behind South Korea. They were also 8th in reading literacy (522) behind Finland (546), Canada (534), and New Zealand (529). In general, Japanese school-goers are amongst the happiest in the world, with only 25% of students claiming they disliked school - much less than 42% of Belgian school kids.  
Kenya Education is one of the most important areas for Kenya, with 7% of GDP, and some 22% of government expenditure committed to the sector. A respectable 95% of students complete their primary level education, though just 3% of the population are enrolled in tertiary education. Unsurprisingly, illiteracy rates have been falling, with 14.9% of 15-year-olds or older illiterate in 2003, compared to 25.5% a decade earlier.
Nigeria Unlike many of the African nations, Nigeria doesn’t have a great emphasis on education. So much so, that some ‘recent’ figures are 20 years old. For example, in 1991, government spending on education was just 0.89% of GDP, though literacy rates amongst 15-24 year olds was a respectable 73% in 1990.
Philippines Education’s importance is the Philippines is high, with more than 17% of government spending in 2003 on the sector. In fact, Philippines students aged 13 receive the most number of hours of instruction in the world (1,467hrs), and 9-year-olds the 3rd highest hours of instruction (1,067hrs).


Interesting observations about Education > Background

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