According to the UNDP, evidence demonstrates that school systems in the Arab world are generally of low productivity and quality. Basic skills are not being learned, a fact most clearly capture by international standardized tests whose results reveal that the region is still below the expected level. In many places, particularly rural areas, schools are overcrowded and underequipped, teachers lack training and children leave school with low levels of literacy and numeracy.
Recent UIS statistics show that the MENA has one of the highest rates of children and adolescents not learning enough to meet the minimum proficiency level in reading during primary school. Furthermore, according to a recent UNICEF report, there are nearly 22 million children in the MENA who are either out of school or at risk of dropping out, three million of which are refugees. Adding to the already low education outcomes for children in the MENA region, is the threat and disruption of violence and conflict.