Financing Literacy Education in the Arab World t A Comparative Study / Abdulaziz Alsunbul
The purpose of this study was to explore the patterns of financing literacy education programs in the Arab world. The study aimed at exploring the governmental and civic society's financial allocations to literacy efforts in the Moroccan and Arabian Gulf countries. As well, the study looked into the phenomena of attrition and repetition , failure, since these two indicators have great impact on financing and quality effectiveness. The researcher utilized a descriptive methodology since it is the best for this kind of study. To conduct the study, the researcher developed a questionnaire consisting of 24 items covering all areas of the research. Data were collected via the National Commissions of Unesco in all participating countries. The study revealed that Arab countries participating in this study allocate , 82,856,444, dollars annually for literacy programs. This allocation represents 0.24 % of the total budget allocated for basic and secondary education in these countries which means that these countries allocate very little budgets for the cause of literacy. According to international standards, countries should allocate 12.5 % of its total budget of education to the literacy efforts. The study showed that Saudi Arabia compared to the rest of countries in this study, allocates the largest proportions of budgets to the literacy efforts. Saudi Arabia allocates 47,706,767 dollars annually to the cause of literacy which represents two thirds of all Arab annual expenditures in the field of literacy. Mauritania was found to be allocating the least budget to the field of literacy. However, proportion wise it was found that Mauritania allocates 2.89 % of its education budget to literacy. This figure is unprecedented in all countries of this study. The study showed that the growth of literacy budgets in the Arab world reaches 15.6 % annually. Concerning expenditures, the study showed that 84.4 % of the budget is spent on salaries and rewards for the teaching staff. Expenditure on scientific research comes at the bottom of the expenditure ladder. Concerning the role of civic society's contribution to literacy efforts, the study showed that civic society organizations were more active in the Moroccan countries than their Arabian Gulf counterparts. The active role of civic society organizations in the Moroccan countries might have led the Moroccan governments to allocate lesser budgets to literacy education than their Arabian Gulf counterparts.