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French Version


Developing human capital - Banker says education offers path to economic growth (Daily Star)

The development of human capital through education and training is the only viable option for developing countries to achieve a better economic future, said Nasser Saidi, first vice-governor of the Central Bank.

“Lebanon survived the civil war and underwent reconstruction just because of its existing human capital, especially its expatriate community,” said Saidi during Junior Achievement Lebanon’s (JAL) advisory board meeting at the Metropolitan Hotel in Beirut Tuesday.

“Education allows for a mobile labor force, an important asset in an ever competitive international job market,” he added. “Education and training are the pillars on which peace and economic prosperity are based,” said Heather Haxo Phillips, president of JA Bakersfield USA and an initiator of JAL.

Saidi said college graduates earn at least 65 percent more than high school graduates, who in turn earn 75 percent more than those who drop out.

The contrast is sharper in other developing countries where college graduates earn 85 percent more that high school diploma holders, who in turn are paid 100 percent more than those without diplomas.

Saidi called for divides to be bridged by focusing on women and minorities, and the educating of the underprivileged.

Extra income, lower fertility rates and better educated children would mean more women could actively participate in the labor force. “New curricula must be introduced into the education system to make full use of information and communication technologies (ICT),” stressed Saidi. “The creation of a network of schools, colleges and people would allow everyone to study and train at their own leisure,” he added.

Phillips said he believed active dialogue and cooperation were needed between the business community and educational institutions. Students would stand a better chance of securing jobs once they know the existing realities and opportunities, he said.

“The most important factor is to involve the stakeholders in the private sector to play an active role in education and training,” concluded Saidi. “Banks, ICT companies and chambers of commerce are the privileged partners,” he added.

Beirut 29-06-2003
Ara Alain Arzoumanian
The Daily Star



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