Education and Skills

These are the world's top regions for preparing students for work

Coloured pencils are pictured in a wooden box at a nursery school in Eichenau near Munich June 18, 2012.   REUTERS/Michaela Rehle (GERMANY  - Tags: EDUCATION SOCIETY) - RTR33VKH

Are the world's schools making the grade? Not according to this survey. Image: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
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Education, Gender and Work

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • A majority of people around the world don't feel that schools are preparing students for jobs.
  • Education remains a priviledge rather than widely available.
  • There is strong support among the public for global cooperation.

Did you feel ready for your first job?

Probably not, but a new poll by SAP and Qualtrics suggests that across the world people still don't feel that local schools are preparing students to get jobs.

In just two regions, respondents rated schools as 'excellent' or 'good'.

Have you read?

A disappointing report card

The survey asked 'How would you rate local schools when it comes to preparing students to get jobs today?'.

As the chart below shows, most respondents believe that local schools are underperforming. Only in East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia do a majority have an overall positive outlook.

education jobs Asia Fourth work schools future generations
Ready for the world of work? Image: SAP/Qualtrics

Added to that is the feeling that access to a quality education remains a privilege, rather than something the majority of the population are able to enjoy.

education jobs Asia Fourth work schools future generations
A quality education? Not for everyone Image: SAP/Qualtrics

With a quality education a key part of the Sustainable Development Goals, clearly plenty of homework is still needed - particularly given the changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As the World Economic Forum's Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution report explains, education systems have "become increasingly disconnected from the realities and needs of global economies and societies" and need to adapt to provide future generations with the skills they need.

A positive lesson: we need to work together

The survey also explored attitudes towards global cooperation - with much more positive results.

In every region, a majority of people believe it's 'important' or 'very important' for countries to work together towards a common goal.

Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia had the biggest majority in favour, with Western Europe the lowest. Globally, more than a third of respondents believe it's very important.

global goals cooperation
Working together can pay off. Image: SAP/Qualtrics

And, not only do people think it's a good idea, they also think countries benefit.

cooperation benefits global goals
Working togerther pays off. Image: SAP/Qualtrics

More than 10,500 respondents took part in the survey, across 30 countries, representing around three-quarters of the global population.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Education and SkillsJobs and the Future of WorkForum Institutional
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