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The future of the Arab World/Can it be transformed into a Knowledge society - Essay Example

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Course Date Factors blocking the Arab World from turning into a Knowledge Society Introduction Limited by economy, technology and the society itself, a knowledge society, should ideally endeavor to transmit knowledge continuously through learning; and ensure that whatever is being learnt is relevant and useful…
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The future of the Arab World/Can it be transformed into a Knowledge society
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Download file to see previous pages The other important aspect is access, where for knowledge to be useful to the society as a whole it has to be accessible. People within the society should be able to afford it; this brings in the cost factor. Access also raises the issue of networks and networking; that for the knowledge to be transmitted to individuals within the society, there must be proper networks. Inevitably, technological factors come into place (Mokyr 1). Presently, the level of intellectual advancement in the Arab world, is dawdling, this can be gauged by factors such as the number of books published, fraction of scientists in the population and percentage of GDP spent on research (Guessoum). The report on Science Research conducted by UNESCO in 2012 reveals that 6000 books were published in 20 Arab countries in comparison to 100,000 published in North America, using equivalent population. Furthermore, the scientific production is also dismal as 41 research papers in comparison to 147 in the world were produced each year per million people. In addition, noted was the spending on both applied and basic research that proved to be quite low. Conversely, in Europe, the policies favor science and research viewing them as valuable tools of driving economic growth while maintaining a competitive pace with giants such as USA. This is depicted by the policies that have been enacted that encourage innovation-oriented research. More so, the higher education system in European states advocates for learning methods that include use of technology and are not only properly governed, but also have adequate funding and provide all with equal opportunities and social justice. This has motivated all potential contributors to the attainment of a thriving knowledge society (Brennan). As portrayed by the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR), there are four issues that affect the quest for knowledge, which include political, religion, human will and culture. Primary to these is good governance, where over time it has been made clear that the achievement of technological and scientific progress would require freedom brought about by good governance. The freedom to arrive at these is in three main areas that consist of assembly, speech and opinion. This has been the main deterring factor in the Arab world (AHDR 165). Alternatively, the right to knowledge is equated to the right to development; this implies that the factors that hinder development would be similar to those that hinder the pursuit of a knowledge-based society. Three issues that are paramount to achieving development are comprehensive freedom, women empowerment and awareness. Overall, there needs to be a reformation of political, social and economic structures in the Arab world (AHDR 166). Fundamentally, this implies suitable policies, institutions, environments and effective work force. Another significant factor is attitudes of the influential personalities in the Arab world. This falls under the human will, issue mentioned previously. Their attitude is vital as it weighs on the structure of institutions such as the market. This is because the market rewards the efforts of individuals who contribute to economic growth while moderating their prudence (Mokyr 8). The Arab world is characterized by a focus on water and oil as the major drivers of economic growth. These two resources are controlled by the group of the elite who dictate the market. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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