So here is something worth reading, sharing and discussing, I happened to bump into this extremely valuable study of the famous magazine "The Economist" that assesses the factors contributing to better education performance, which I believe is the sin qua non condition for the progress of any nation
( I didn't get the chance yet to read this study so for now I'll just quote what they said on the website)
The goal of improving education today enjoys great prominence among policymakers and other stakeholders in societies worldwide. Although they may not be able to quantify it, governments in most countries recognise a link between the knowledge and skills with which young people enter the workforce and long-term economic competitiveness. For this reason, interest is intense in research which explores the factors that seem to lead in some countries to outstanding educational performance, and ultimately to better qualified workforces.
This report, and the broader Learning Curve programme of which it is part, is aimed at helping policymakers, educators, academics and other specialists to identify some of these factors. At its heart is a significant body of quantitative research. The Learning Curve Data Bank (LCDB), which is accessible online, brings together an extensive set of internationally comparable data on education inputs and outputs covering over 50 countries. This in turn has enabled a wide-ranging correlation analysis, conducted to test the strength of relationships between inputs, outputs and various socio-economic outcomes. It also underpins an initiative to create a comparative index of educational performance which, as will become apparent, is anything but a straightforward exercise.
Educators might hope that this or other similar bodies of research would yield the "holy grail": identification of the input, or set of inputs, that above all else leads to better educational results wherever it is applied. Alas, if this report makes nothing else clear, it is that no such magic bullets exist at an international level – or at least that they cannot, as yet, be statistically proven. Nonetheless, our research – which is also based on insights gathered from experts across the world – provides some definite signposts....
An interactive website presenting all the analysis can be found at http://thelearningcurve.pearson.com