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Qatar And The Middle East Looks For Growth From Education

First Posted: 11/17/11 03:59 PM ET Updated: 11/30/11 04:06 PM ET

As the U.S. faces cuts to budgets and programs across its school districts, other countries around the world -- both affluent and not -- are looking to growth and expansion from education.

In the oil and gas rich state of Qatar, millions are spent on education at home and overseas, according to a BBC report. But more money doesn't equal better education.

"It's a big mistake to believe that money's the answer, because it's only if you actually change the way in which you educate that you live the outcome of the money," Rt Hon Charles Clarke, former UK education secretary, tells the BBC. "The advantage that countries here have because of the oil is that they can find the resources, but then the challenge is how do you use those resources to really change the education experience."

In Morocco, 27 percent of the nation's budget is spent on education. In the Middle East as a whole, the greatest challenge is a dearth of jobs, and not education. A large portion of the population are the young and educated, so the big questions they face are how to make education relevant to create jobs and make them more employable.

The issues overseas come at a time when the U.S. is working to reform a system of its own through numerous proposals and initiatives, and by funneling more money into the education system.

To be sure, there exists a budgetary imbalance. While some districts are struggling to fund operations, even selling ads in schools and on report cards, others are faced with a "use it or lose it" dilemma for surplus federal funding under a separate allocation.

For a global look at education, watch BBC's report above on how these countries are looking to reform a system so that education can shape the success of future generations.

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Filed by Emmeline Zhao  |