The Middle East and North Africa have the lowest levels of English proficiency in the world, and overall proficiency is declining. Despite enormous progress in expanding access to primary education, increasing the number of girls in school, and reducing barriers to education in rural areas, MENA school systems are not making significant progress in teaching English.
Many of the countries in the region spend more per pupil than countries in Asia with similar levels of development, but this higher investment is not delivering better results. Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates – the only countries in the region that participated in the 2012 OECD PISA testing – were all well below OECD averages in math, science, and reading, and three of them were among the six lowest-performing school systems in the study. In terms of English proficiency, both women and men are markedly behind global averages, and the gender gap in MENA is significantly wider than in any other region in the world.Close
Despite investment in English training throughout the region, most Asian countries, including the wealthiest ones, have not seen significant changes in their EF EPI scores from last year.
Despite its already strong English proficiency, Europe continues to improve. Six countries show a significant increase in their scores, meaning that they each gained at least two points.
Latin America improved the most of any region in this year’s EF EPI, with Panama showing the largest improvement in the entire index.