There is correlation between education and happiness and world well-being. Hans Rosling has plenty of great talks on TED about it. No-one can say his analysis is shallow.
What is interesting though is that Egypt and especially Tunisia did invest heavily in education. The result is countries with highly-educated under-employed generation and, eventually, peaceful(ish) revolution.
In a global Adam-Smith scheme of things, what can a country like Egypt or Tunisia export? Where can jobs come from?