Bahraini Parliamentary Investigative Committee Disbanded, Saudi Ambassador Says Ready to Fulfill Bahraini Education Sector Needs

Saudi Ambassador meeting Bahrain Parliament Speaker Fawzia Zainal
Saudi Ambassador meeting Bahrain Parliament Speaker Fawzia Zainal

2019-03-19 - 3:34 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The first investigative committee formed by the House of Representatives, which was elected in November 2018, was disbanded on Monday (March 11, 2019), causing one of the first disappointments regarding such a committee, which was made up of 12 MPs to investigate the Bahrainization of jobs as well as the issue of marginalization of Bahrainis to which they are subjected in both the public and private sectors.

The resignation of 3 MPs from the committee raised question marks over the reasons behind their resignations, noting that the resigned members are: Ammar Abbas, Fadel Al-Sawad and Massouma Abdulrahim.

The first statement by the committee's chairman, Ibrahim Al-Nafie, after the resignation of the three MPs was somehow odd. His statement seemed far from explaining what had happened, but he might have actually explained the truth of the matter.

Al-Nafie, who heads the investigative committee on the Bahrainization of jobs, praised the Saudi ambassador's comments published in Al-Ayam newspaper on March 10, in which he said that "Saudi Arabia sent about 274 Saudi teachers to Bahraini schools."

Al-Nafie said that the recent statement issued by the Saudi ambassador in Manama Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmalek Al Sheikh regarding Saudi Arabia's continued support for the educational sector needs in Bahrain "is an example reflecting the brotherly relations and cooperation between the two brotherly countries", adding that this is "a source of pride for us as Bahrainis, for the tenacity, and durability of the bonds of trust that have been created by this special relationship".

The Saudi ambassador's statement came without any consideration to the widespread controversy that is taking place inside Bahrain, as hundreds of Bahrainis are openly voicing their marginalization and increased unemployment, as both the government and the private sector prefer hiring foreigners instead.

It also comes after about 9,000 government employees retired in a program announced by the government, and the majority of retirees worked in the education field. The retirees in this sector amounted to 45% of the total people who joined the voluntary retirement program.

The Saudi ambassador told Al-Ayam newspaper that his country is willing to provide Bahrain with Saudi teachers in case schools faced shortage following the voluntary retirements. He stressed that "Saudi Arabia will study the demand and will do its best to help its sister country at any time."

The Saudi ambassador revealed that the number sent by his country to Bahrain has reached 274 teachers and supervisors so far and that cooperation in the educational field is under the administration and continued coordination of education ministries in both countries.

The Saudi Ministry of Education has already announced the completion of its procedures to send teachers to Bahrain specialized in 10 educational majors: Islamic education, Arabic language, social studies, mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, computer, and educational supervision.

Amid all of this, large numbers of Bahraini teachers suffer from unemployment, and some have been unemployed for several years, in addition to the fact that Bahraini security forces have affected the livelihoods of a number of Bahraini teachers by preventing their employment, after they detaining them for limited periods without proving that they have committed acts punishable by law.

The Saudi ambassador's statement comes at a time when the Bahraini government announced what it called the National Employment Program, by which it said would raise subsidies for the unemployed, without; however, announcing any practical program for training and hiring unemployed Bahrainis.

Some Bahraini citizens expressed, via social media outlets, their surprise at the Saudi ambassador's comments, criticizing Saudi Arabia's move to send a number of its teachers to Manama at the expense of unemployed Bahrainis.

If the statements of both the Saudi ambassador and the chairman of the investigative committee are put together, one can clearly notice the lack of seriousness regarding the topics of the National Employment Project as well as the parliamentary investigation into a national issue that is offensive to the dignity of Bahrainis, who remain unemployed in their own country while foreigners are hired instead.

The three MPs, who resigned from the committee, remained silent and did not announce the reasons behind their resignation. There's nothing heroic about their resignations; they perhaps discovered that there is no use and no seriousness in remaining in the committee. For her part, Masouma Abdulrahim revealed that she is a "woman of principle" without daring to announce the reasons for her resignation.

Arabic Version




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