Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

“Education Cannot Wait”

“Education Cannot Wait”

Hussaini, 14, is one of the lucky ones. He escaped. In 2018, as terrorism by extremist groups crossed into Burkina Faso, his village was attacked while he was in school. First, he heard screaming, and then gunfire. “They shot at our teachers and killed one of them,” he says. “They burned down the classrooms.” Hussaini ran home and within a matter of minutes, his family set off. They left everything behind, including school. Since that day, Hussaini has not set foot in a classroom. “I used to love school, to read, to count and to play during recess,” he says. “It’s been a year since I last went…”



From the end of 2017 to 2019, the number of schools forced to close due to rising insecurity tripled. More than 9,200 schools closed across Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and others, leaving 1.9 million children without education. These children face a much higher risk of recruitment by armed groups, gender-based violence and targeting by traffickers. Most parents in Africa will tell you that their children’s education is the most important investment they can make.



Trouble Cycle

Education is the UN’s top priority because it is a basic human right and the foundation on which to build peace and drive sustainable development. Unfortunately, lack of education for the young generation remains highly present in the world.

The problem is a cycle: lack of education results in high child labor and low literacy rate thus increasing the world’s problems such as crimes. And in its turn, terrorism decreases education opportunities. Hussaini is among millions of other children that were deprived from quality education and had high chances to be part of child labor.




Poor basic education can be identified by high child employment rate. So, what are the target continent and countries?

The map shows that the Average Child Employment Rates (ages 7-14) is highest in Africa.

Having a deeper look, Cameroon ranks first for having the highest average child employment rate of 52.7% for years 2006-2015, followed by Niger, Benin, and Burkina Faso.

Referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 4:

  • What if kids will get exposed to education in early stage?
  • Can we influence their perception?

Fulfilling the Dream

Education cannot wait, and our world had enough. It is time to increase the number of education programs targeting young generation, and specifically African countries as previously mentioned, with Cameroon being a major target.

Creating education programs would:

  • Have education camps with volunteering and non volunteering teachers all around the world
  • Use workshops and fun trainings to later voluntarily engage kids
  • Involve underdeveloped countries in globalization
  • Introduce the diversity of cultures
  • Work on making education a need and will for every kid and parent- representing a lasting impact environment


Many past programs were successfully implemented in Cameroon such as Open Dreams, which already funded more than 200 scholarships and mentored more than 1000 students.



Is it Time?

Targeting Cameroon, and implementing it as a first stage project, would be a start to then expand into other countries.

Finally, from another perspective, how about looking at equalizing educational opportunities as a solution to many other issues? and working on SDG 4 for quality education will strongly and positively affect other goals such as ending poverty and hunger?



From the Streets of Tripoli to Classrooms:  Getting kids back to learning

From the Streets of Tripoli to Classrooms: Getting kids back to learning

NO to child labor, YES to safe and quality education

Growing up in Lebanon has been a challenge for all of us. We went through wars, political instability, economic crisis, and many more shocking events. Nevertheless, we are considered lucky enough to have a safe space to go back to; we went to school where we forgot our problems and had continuous support to continue our studies and live a “normal” life.

I met Samir 4 years ago on a random Tuesday morning, I was sick and didn’t go to school that day, but he had no excuse to be out of school. I was walking down the street and saw a kid around 11 years old smoking. I approached him and told him to put down the cigarette and asked him why he was crying. Samir explained that he didn’t want to go to work. He had to go against his will,  because he needed to provide basic needs for his family. “If it was up to me, I would rather be at school learning and playing with friends. But this is my life.” said Samir.

Throughout my childhood in Tripoli, I always felt that it is not fair that I am going to school while other children my age dropped out of school and worked every day under harsh conditions.

Samir is not the only kid prevented from living a normal life, more than half of kids living in Tripoli are forced to go to work.
The Tripoli municipality and the Lebanese University- Social and medical work department with technical support from UNICEF collaborated in order to prevent Child Labor. Students from the Lebanese University conducted a Rapid Need Assessment (RNA) focusing on Child Labor aiming to give evidence on the conditions of the working children. The RNA targeted 500 working children involved in different types of work.

After analyzing the data collected, it is clear that these children need all the help they can get in order to get out of the conditions that they are living in. They have the right to education and to feel safe. They are working under harsh conditions, with the knowledge of their parents.

As a first step, the municipality of Tripoli created a safe room where kids can spend time without worrying about other responsibilities.

The next steps are:
-Raising awareness for Kids and their Parents through activities, plays and others.
-Creating a board of NGO and municipality representatives in order to decrease the percentage of school dropouts.
– Municipality should not allow kids to work.

Education for girls can transform communities, countries and our world

Education for girls can transform communities, countries and our world

Girls’ education is proving to be a significant element in improving the quality of life in developed countries. Educational equity not only benefits a country’s economy, but it also helps to minimize infant hunger and the pay disparity that exists between men and women in many developed nations.

Our world society is made wealthier by providing women with the opportunity to further their education.

The State of Education in Arab League Countries

The State of Education in Arab League Countries

Like many of my colleagues, I graduated from college back in 2019 and still not able to apply for my university studies ” said Salma, an Egyptian student, from Al Salam high school when she was asked about the state of education in her country. Is Salma an exception?
Salma could be ME!
Salma could be YOU!
Salma is every student in arab world suffering to seek proper higher education.
Although the Arab League consider education to be the most effective tool for advancing the Arab society, when closely examining statistics on the status of education in the Arab region, the main conclusions have pointed to a deficit in educational attainment.
Using the world bank indicators data related to education, I was able to achieve a simple visualization that fully support my purpose of the presentation: the minimum level of education attained in the Arab League Countries remains the highest for the PRIMARY level and no significant improvement was really detected between these 3 years as the BACHELOR, MASTER and DOCTORAT levels are approximately the same.
The data highlight an urge need of innovative interventions that can transform education systems and schools across the region.