Education reformers throughout the world have urged faculties of education to operate in close partnership with schools. While they should be research-based in their teaching, they should not be isolated in ivory towers, away from the future places of employment of their graduates.
Across most of the world, this goal is still very far away. However, in Bahrain, this goal has been realized now for ten years through the Bahrain Teachers College. Established in 2008 as a partnership between the the Ministry of Education, the University of Bahrain, and the Economic Development Board of Bahrain, the Bahrain Teachers College is a global leader in teacher preparation.
With this tripartite structure, the Bahrain Teachers College realizes a distinct aspect of transformational teacher education through each of its founding institutions: direct impact on high quality teaching practice through its relationship with the Ministry of Education, theoretically-sound and evidence-based curriculum for teacher preparation through its relationship with the University of Bahrain, and an eye toward the goals of Bahrain 2030 and beyond through its relationship with the Economic Development Board. Very few countries in the world come close to Bahrain’s forward thinking system of teacher education.
Foundation of BTC
The Ministry of Education in 2005 launched the school improvement program which has been designed to lift the performance of all Bahraini schools and improve future career outcomes for students through a number of projects that would affect the whole process of the learning and teaching. Bahrain Teachers College is one of the main initiatives of what will be a long journey of reform.
In alignment with the National Strategic Plan to improve the quality of learning in Bahrain's education and forming the foundations for future reforms, the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Economic Development Board and the National Institute of Education in Singapore joined together to set up a new college for training teachers by the Academic Year 2008 – 2009. The Bahrain Teachers College is an initiative reflecting the attention the Ministry gives to quality, emphasizing the need to qualify and train teachers ensuring the quality of outcomes since teachers play a major role in any effective and tangible development.The educational programs designed by the National Institute of Education emphasize the principles of holistic development of candidates, purpose – driven programs, theory-practice link, reflective communities of practice, partnerships, benchmarking beginning teacher standards, authentic and formative assessment, and advancement of the teaching profession. These principles have thus become the backbone of BTC's operations.
The BTC Governing Council
Oversight of the Bahrain Teachers College occurs through an
instrumental Governing Council, chaired by the Undersecretary for
Resources and Services of the Ministry of Education. The current
Undersecretary, Dr. Mohammed Mubarak Juma, leads a Governing Council,
consisting of leaders from the three founding institutions. They
- Dr. Mohammed Mubarak Juma, Undersecretary for Resources and Services, Ministry of Education
- Dr. Waheeb Issa Al-Nasser, Vice President of the University of Bahrain for Academic Programs and Postgraduate Studies
- Dr. Ted Purinton, Dean, Bahrain Teachers College
- Dr. Abdul Aziz Mohamed Bolila, Dean of College of Arts, University of Bahrain
- Dr. Ghada Ahmed Jassim, Assistant Professor & Director of the English Language Center, University of Bahrain
- Mr. Geoff Hancock, Director of Education, Economic Development Board of Bahrain
- Mrs. Bahija Mohammed Al Dailami, Adviser, Supreme Council for Women
- Mrs. Ahlam Ahmed Al Amer, Acting Undersecretary, Curriculum and Educational Supervision
- Dr. Samah Mohammed Al-Ajawi, Acting Director, Bahrain Technical Institute
- Mrs. Fatima Shaheen Albanian, Director of Primary Education, Ministry of Education
- Mrs. Amna Al-Sulaiti, Principal, Al Oroba Primary School for Girls
- Mrs. Fatima Ali Al Mehza, Graduate of the Bahrain Teachers College
- Mr. Ali Al Saad, Office of the First Deputy Prime Minister
The Governing Council operates by holding the College
accountable for its goals. In doing so, the Governing Council gathers
the needs of relevant stakeholders and expresses them to the College in
monthly meetings. The Council is a truly innovative feature of the
Bahrain Teachers College and is reshaping the relationship in Bahrain
between academia and the labor market, in this case, educational