Relationship to Bahrain 2030 Goals
The Education Reform Project started in June 2005 with extensive research into the condition of the education system and the performance level of students. This was complemented by an analysis of what was needed to prepare Bahrain’s students for the social and economic demands of the future. This diagnostic included surveys, interviews, focus groups with key stakeholders, and benchmark study evaluating Bahrain’s education performance data against international best practice. The results showed that students in Bahrain’s education system were, in general, performing below international benchmarks, that there were significant gaps in the available provision in education, and that graduates were not meeting the expectations of private sector employers. In short, a change needed to be made to safeguard Bahrain’s continued economic success and the success of its people.
On 30 November 2005, His Highness the Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, hosted a workshop, during which the findings of the diagnostic were shared with 200 leading political, economic, business and civil society representatives in the Kingdom.
Subsequently, a strategic plan was developed through co-operative work between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labor, the University of Bahrain and private sector representatives, with the support of external experts. Following approval from the cabinet, the Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Education have been working together to implement the first round of initiatives that will lift the quality and performance of education in Bahrain. The Bahrain teachers college was one of the initiatives approved by the cabinet along with:
- Improving the quality of teachers by attracting better candidates to the teaching profession, training the existing teachers and school leaders
- Establish and independent Quality Assurance Authority to provide independent reviews and reports on the performance of Bahrain’s schools, vocational institutions and higher education institutions
- Establishing Bahrain Polytechnic to provide post-secondary educational opportunities and qualifications with focus on high level applied skills to meet the demand of the changing labour market
- Changing the way secondary school students are prepared for work through new career focused courses emphasizing practical skills and providing extensive workplace experience