"Inadequate” Education in One-Third of Bahrain's Schools: Government Body
2019-03-19 - 4:08 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A report issued by the Education and Training Quality Authority revealed that 32% of Bahrain's public schools, out of 188 public schools. Based on the reviews of their quality of performance in the third review cycle (2014-2018) conducted by the Authority, these schools received an "inadequate" rating.
The Authority stated that the existence of such a percentage of "inadequate" schools "is a concern and is not in line with the Kingdom's aspirations and modern vision". Despite the increase of number of "inadequate" schools in the second review cycle (2011-2014), the rate didn't exceed 25% , while the first review cycle (2008-2011) recorded 21%.
The report is considered an official admission to the catastrophe public education suffers from in the country after its performance level dramatically degraded since the 2011 political protests, although 100 years have passed since the launch of systematic education and 10 years have passed since the establishment of the Education and Training Quality Authority.
Citizens complain about the invasion of foreign teachers (from different Arab backgrounds) of the education scene in the island kingdom as well as the rivalry of naturalized and foreign students.
Last year the Authority recommended that the concerned parties at the Ministry of Education directly intervene in 14 schools to improve their performance.
In a controversial report, the Authority admitted that some the reasons behind these schools' either weak performance or their incapability to deal with the diversity of cultural backgrounds and non-Arabic speakers. Furthermore, some of the challenges are related to students' and parents' poor awareness and attitudes, while others are related to the instability of the educational and administrative bodies, and the structure and organization of school stages, classes, the school environment, or other facilities.
The withdrawal of Bahraini teachers from the scene began in 2011, when hundreds of teachers submitted early retirement applications after the Ministry of Education exerted considerable political pressure on many of them, through commissions of inquiry and calumniation, in addition to a number of them who were arrested and tortured. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that more than 3,000 Bahraini teachers left the education field last month, by joining the so-called "voluntary retirement" program.
Education is controlled by Minister of Education Majid Al-Nuaimi, who has been in office for more than 16 years, despite a wave of major protests against him last year, over the scandal of forged certificates, and despite the accusations raised against him and his ministerial apparatus of practicing discrimination and sectarianism.
It is worth noting that out of 61 schools that received an "inadequate" rating in the third cycle, there were 54 boys only schools and 7 girls only schools. 45 of the schools were rated as "inadequate" in all review areas. This indicates that these schools face many challenges in handling their situation and implementing the recommendations of previous review reports.
The "inadequate" rating is is given to any school when the quality of practices (the educational process and administration) are reflected on the students in an inadequate way and if the performance level was less than expected. It is also given in any of the following cases: if academic achievement, personal development, social responsibility, or teaching, learning and assessment are rated as "inadequate", according to the School Review Handbook issued by the Authority.
The Authority is responsible for evaluating the performance of all public and private educational institutions in the country (schools, colleges and universities). It works independently from the government ministries and institutions responsible for various educational and training sectors, similar to the case of the National Audit Office.
It considered that the performance of intermediate schools remains a cause of concern due to the challenges these schools face in improving their performance, particularly as none of them received an "excellent" rating, while 12 of the 17 intermediate schools reviewed during 2017-2018 were rated "inadequate", amounting to 71%.
The performance of high schools is alarming, with 44% rated "inadequate", 22% "satisfactory" and 22% "good"; and only 11% received an "excellent" rating, i.e. one high school only.
The ratings of the primary schools were relatively more balanced, where 47% of schools were either rated "good' or excellent". However, a significant number of schools, 18%, were rated "inadequate".
As for boys only schools, 20 were rated as "inadequate" compared to three girls only schools. The high percentage of boys only primary schools that received "inadequate" ratings last year remains a concern.
It is worth noting that, out of the nine schools rated as "excellent", eight were girls only schools while the ninth was a boys only school with female teachers.
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