Six years ago the World Bank produced a report that is fundamental to any thinking about the whole question of education reform in the Arab World. Called The Road Not Travelled, it explores judiciously and carefully what had been achieved, what had yet to be achieved, and how what must still be achieved could best be. In the years since that was penned, much has changed in North Africa. The ‘Arab Spring’ has upset the apparently static certainties of 2008, and released a great deal of energy, most of it from the young – the people whose education, employment and economic activity, or lack of all three, are the heart of the report. Their deep frustrations over education and unemployment – with such overwhelming impact on social betterment, personal prosperity, life-chances, marriage and happiness – are one of the main themes running through the uprisings of 2011. Their continued frustration in many places continues to shape events. If the education/employment nexus seemed important to governments in 2008, we may be sure that the social and political impact of failure to address that nexus is even better understood today.