October 14, 2010
Posted: 1518 GMT
The Gulf has one of the fastest-growing and youngest populations in the world. Its countries are also among the top spenders on education, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report – "The GCC in 2020: The Gulf and its People."
The report highlights a problem that Gulf Countries are acutely aware of: "Rapid population growth will ... create a large pool of labour that may be difficult to absorb into the private sector, owing to mismatches not only of skills, but also of expectations of wages and working conditions. Ongoing education reforms will help, but will not solve these mismatches within the next 10 years."
The Education Project conference in Bahrain sought to address those challenge and others. Bahrain, unlike its wealthier neighbours, is not awash with gas and oil. It knows its future lies in its ability to transition to a post-oil economy. Education will be, participants said, essential to increase economic diversification and national growth.
CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom moderated the opening debate "What does it mean to be an educated adult in today's knowledge economy?"