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EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT OF WORLD HEADS OF STATE

By Lono Kasina

Nowadays, good governance seems to become the magic word for the assessment of poor or sub-developed countries. But, unfortunately, very few tried to question the intellectual in-puts made by their leaders so that they could be evaluated, according to their knowledge. Even if leadership and governance skills could, perhaps the expectations are very high as, with globalization, the influx of knowledge needs to be managed by leaders, in this instance, the heads of state with some pre-requisites. Lono Kasina, a native from the Democratic republic of Congo, has questioned this matter in a 22 years piece of research to be updated and soon published, titled: “the Educational Attainment of World Heads of State” But, just to sum-it up, Lono Kasina found that, according to statistics, there is a very strong relationship between “bad management and the school level of the heads of states”. The less they are educated or not attended colleges at all, the more they become dictators and bad managers of their countries. Surprisingly, the level of education reached by most heads of states is comparable to that of a High School student. As a result of these shocking findings, Lono Kasina has issued a pioneering recommendation that “a single educational institution” such as a World Academy of the Presidency, be created for all the heads of states to study together as a group. (International Relations St. Mary's University, San Antonio Texas, USA, 2007). A look at research Summary.

SUMMARY

IT IS COMMONLY SAID THAT MANY presidents or heads of state lack a higher education. There are not enough empirical studies in this area, however, to support or to deny this claim. What follows, an analysis of the current level of “educational attainment of world heads of state”, expands upon this theme. The report presents statistical estimates of the educational achievements of 152 heads of state based on the Year 1987. An attempt has been made to determine an individual highest year of education reached by each subject and the annual median years of educational attainment by all the heads of state is uncovered. A possible interpretation of the findings is also given.

Purpose

The aim of this study is to enable the measurement of, and to familiarize the reader with the educational background of the world's top ruling elite. An effort is also underway to determine the median years of educational attainment of all former heads of state since 1940. The median years of educational attainment of new heads of state will be added in order to develop an accumulated educational measurement standard for years to come. This effort, however, is not part of the present study.

Limitations

This study is limited to an analysis of the educational attainment of heads of state only. It does not cover prime ministers, foreign ministers, or other leaders associated with foreign relations. Heads of state include Presidents and Kings or Queens who preside over sovereign states. Governors-general and Prefects of British and French territories are excluded since they do not hold sovereign rule over those states.

The study is also limited to analysis of "regular" schooling only, that is, formal education obtained through public or private schools. Other special trainings and military instructions which the heads of state may have undertaken or any honorary degrees they may have been awarded are not accounted for in the current study.

EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENT

Educational Data

The data on years of school completed were derived from biographical' estimates of heads of state's formal education. Data were based on the level of regular schooling attained. Using the United States Census Bureau format measuring educational attainment, the focus was put on schooling that might have advanced a head of state toward an elementary school certificate, a high-school diploma, a college, or a university degree.

Educational Level Groups

Educational data are divided into four groups; representing the four levels of measurement (see Table 1). The first group covers one through twelve years and represents the elementary to high school level of education (or primary and secondary schools in other systems). The second group, thirteen through sixteen years, represents the college level of educational attainment. The third group covers seventeen through eighteen years of education, which is a graduate or Master's level. The fourth group extends from nineteen and plus years of education, which represents a doctorate or post doctorate level of education. Data on each head of state's educational level group can be found in the Appendix.

TABLE: EDUCATIONAL LEVEL GROUPS

Group Span of Years Educational Level

1 1-12 Elementary/High School
2 13-16 College
3 17-18 Graduate
4 19-Plus Doctorate

Annual Median

The annual median of years is a critical data in this analysis. It helps establish a threshold on the middle number of education accomplished by all in the sample. The median, which is a type of average, is the middle value in a distribution, i.e., the median divides the distribution into two equal parts. In the case of this analysis, one-half of the heads of state's educational level fell below the median and the other-half exceeded the median.

Findings

The analysis of data revealed that nearly half of the heads of state have a median years' educational attainment of slightly below or slightly above twelve (12.2). Among the 152 heads of state in the sample, it was found that 71, or 46.7 percent, have an elementary to high-school level of education; 40, or 26.3 percent, have a college level of education; 13, or 8.5 percent, have a graduate (Master's) level of education; and 28, or 18.4 percent, have a doctorate degree.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

It is rather sad to discover just how low the educational level of the heads of state really is. While many people still may question the extent to which the world's top ruling elite is educated, this study has clearly provided an approximate empirical answer to that question. It is now demonstrated that the majority of the world's presidents are truly lacking a higher education. The question which now arises is what can be done about it? The recommendation which the investigator has in mind is that a single educational institution (an academy or a university) be created to educate the heads of state of all the countries of the world.

PS. A full copy of this research will be soon published in yet an announced source. However, intelligent comments can be forwarded lkasina@hotmail.com

Lono J. Kasina
PhD. Candidate
International Political Economy
USA.

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