This House believes education is worthless without freedom of speech

Monday December 06 2010
MOTION PASSED by 53% to 47%

Opinion poll

Doha, Qatar 17 January 2011: More than 80 percent of Arabs believe that education is worthless without freedom of speech, according to a recent poll conducted by YouGov and The Doha Debates.

The poll findings reveal a greater desire for freedom of speech in Arab education systems than the mostly-Arab audience at a recent Doha Debate in Qatar, where 53 percent of passed the motion ‘This House believes that education is worthless without freedom of speech'.

The report demonstrates a widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo with four in ten respondents stating that there is no freedom of speech in their country of residence. At the same time nearly 85 percent of those surveyed would like to see more freedom of speech. Only 28 percent of those polled however stated that freedom of speech should have no limits.

The survey was completed by over 1000 respondents from 18 Arab countries in the GCC, Levant and North Africa and was conducted between the 26 December 2010 and 3 January 2011.

The results also indicate that freedom of speech is not taken lightly in the Arab world; a majority of those questioned - more than 80 percent - believe the Arab world would be more successful were it to enjoy greater freedom of speech.

While respondents in the region as a whole were split when questioned if their country of residence is doing enough to reform the education system, more than 70 percent of North African respondents indicated that their governments were falling short in this regard.

A poor education is however better than no education at all, according to nearly 60 percent of those surveyed.

A majority of respondents look to the US as home of the best education system internationally.

Polling dates: 26 December 2010 - 3 January 2011

Download the polling data [PDF]

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