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Bahrainís Former Education Minister Strongly Criticizes Scholarship System: Donít Consider the Studentsí Political Views

2015-09-10 - 10:55 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's former Minister of Education Ali Fakhro criticized the current system adopted by the Ministry of Education to choose high-ranking students for scholarships. In an interview with Al-Wasat newspaper, Fakhro called on the authorities to have the scholarship depend on the students efforts during his/her three years of high school, stressing that "there is no need to consider other factors, like the student's political views or family and tribe lineage, which has nothing to do with this matter whatsoever. I personally think there is no need to add it to the student's performance evaluation."

As of the fact that the Education Ministry deprived dozens of high-ranking Shiite high school graduates of scholarships, Fakhro further stressed on "the negativity of making the student's future depend on one exam only, as the student might experience circumstances that may affect his performance. Thus, students should be informed from the beginning of high school that every effort they make will be taken into consideration, so they can compensate any subject, they were held back in."

"Secondly, if you focus on efforts made during a period of three years, there is no need to consider any other factors, like a student's political views, or family and tribe lineage, which has nothing to do with the matter whatsoever. I personally think there is no need to add it to the student's performance evaluation," he added.

"Using this approach in choosing scholarship is unacceptable, especially that the majority of students who aspire to get scholarships come from poor families, who hope to improve their social condition to something better. Therefore, manipulating the future of these students means that they are manipulating [their families' futures as well]," said Fakhro.

Fakhro also stated that when he was in charge of the Ministry of Education they used to never look at the student's name or the city, area, or family he/she comes from, stressing that there "was a special committee that used to study and decide by calculating the students' grades and efforts over three years of high school as well as their final grades." He also pointed out that when he was in office, it was unacceptable to make the high-ranking students requesting scholarships take an exam to evaluate their ranks.

In response to those who filed complaints against the ministry at that time, claiming that the scholarships are being granted to a specific group of people, Fakhro said: "I said we don't look at their names. We only consider their efforts and grades for they are all citizens."

Fakhro further stated that solving the scholarship issue is simpler than some people think: "As I said, the distribution of scholarships must depend only on the students' efforts over the three year high school period as well as their final exam results."


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