Schooling and Education

Among all the plausible media effects respondents were asked to consider in this study, there was highest agreement that entertainment media sparks creativity; two-thirds agree that exposure to entertainment media helps children become more creative and imaginative (66%).

A belief in the ability of entertainment media to spark creativity in children was highest in the three Gulf states, but majorities in Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon also believe in such a benefit.  

There is also a clear belief among respondents in households with children that exposure to entertainment media helps children better socialize with others; two-thirds of respondents in the survey with children in their home agree with this sentiment (62%).  This positive impact on socialization is seen in all six countries, but felt most strongly in Saudi Arabia (73%) and slightly less so in Lebanon (44%).

The positive connection between entertainment media and socializing with others was reported by all age groups and those at all levels of education, but much more so among Western expats than among Arab expats and nationals (79%, 59% and 61%, respectively).

Also positive, a majority of those in households with children in the MENA region agree that exposure to entertainment media helps children to learn skills needed at school (55%).  Saudi Arabia and Qatar believe this more strongly than those in other countries (70% and 65%, respectively), particularly in Tunisia, where only a quarter accept the connection (25%).  The general acceptance of the beneficial effects of entertainment media on school behaviors is reported among all age groups in the MENA region, and by those with a general level of education (more than primary school). 

U.S. and European expats in the MENA region are more likely to report a positive impact on skills for school than Arab nationals and expats (82%, 50%, and 54% respectively).