This scoping study of education contexts in the Middle East and North Africa was carried out for the Open Society Foundations Education Support Program to inform the development of its “education justice” strategy in the region. The Open Society Foundations defines education justice as “an equal chance for every child and an equal chance for every adult,” a potentially powerful concept in a region affected by prolonged conflict and significant political, social and economic tensions.
The countries selected for the study include Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. While these countries do not give a fully representative picture, they do provide useful insights into some of the key issues and priorities around education in the MENA region. This report is intended as a broad situational analysis of education contexts in these countries rather than an in-depth study of specific issues.
Given the specificities and sensitivities of the different country contexts in this region, generalizations are to be avoided. Nevertheless, five cross-regional themes have emerged from the country-specific analyses and these are discussed in the concluding section of this report. These are followed by a number of regional recommendations for Open Society Foundations to consider in the development of its “education justice” strategy in the Middle East and North Africa.