Education in Bahrain




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General Information

Quranic schools (Kuttab) were the only form of education in Bahrain at the beginning of this century. They are traditional schools aimed at teaching children and youth the reading of the Holy Quran.

Many people of Bahrain had felt that this type of education did not fulfil the academic efficiency that match with the spirit of age. After the First World War, things have been changed and Bahrain became widely open upon the modern western renaissance. Political and social changes have occurred in the country that caused the rise of social and cultural awareness among people.

Due to all these, a demand for modern educational institutions different from (Kuttab) has appeared in terms of system, curricula and objectives.

Before 1919, a number of prominent citizens in Muharraq Island had discussed and agreed to establish a modern formal school. A number of the Royal people (Shaikhs) has endorsed this call and contributed for this project.

1919 marked the beginning of modern public school system in Bahrain. Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia school for boys was opened at the northern tip of Muharraq. The first Committee of Education consisted of several leading merchants and was presided over by the late Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al-Khalifa who was popularly known as 'the Minister of Education'. He was also responsible for the management of Al-Hidaya school.

In 1926, the Education Committee has opened the second public school for boys at Manama.

In 1928 the first public school for girls was opened at Muharraq.

Due to the financial and administrative difficulty faces by the Education Committee, the schools came under the direct control of the government in 1930.




Educational System

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:
Age of entry: 6
Age of exit: 15

Structure of school system:

Primary School:
Length of program in years: 6 
Age level from: 6 to 12 years old

Intermediate School:
Length of program in years: 3 
Age level from: 12 to 15 years old
Certificate/Diploma awarded: Intermediate Education Certificate

General Secondary School:
Length of program in years: 3 
Age level from: 15 to 18 years old
Certificate/Diploma awarded: Tawjahiya (General Secondary School Certificate)

Commercial Secondary School:
Length of program in years: 3 
Age level from: 15 to 18 years old
Certificate/Diploma awarded: Tawjahiya (Commercial)

Technical Secondary School:
Length of program in years: 3 
Age level from: 15 to 18 years old
Certificate/Diploma awarded: Tawjahiya (Technical)






Secondary Education

This level is considered as a continuous to the basic education and a new phase for the student as it prepares him/her for higher education or labour market. It lasts for three years divided into six semesters of three levels. Entry is conditional on obtaining the Intermediate School certificate or its equivalent.

The credit-hours system is applied in this level that provide broad choices of subjects and courses. It permits students to tailor programs that suit their future goals. In this system, the student has a choice to pursue a science curriculum, a literary curriculum, a commercial curriculum, a technical curriculum, textile and clothing track. The last track is for girls only. Students are able to change tracks depending on the common courses among more than one specialization.

The study plan of the secondary level (credit hours system) is based on the total credit hours required to complete secondary education, that are (156) credit hours for scientific, literary, commercial, textile track; and (210) credit hours for technical track.





Higher Education

Higher education is provided by the University of Bahrain, the Arabian Gulf University, the College of Health Sciences and the Hotel and Catering Training Centre. The University of Bahrain was established as a merger of the University College of Arts, Science and Education and the Gulf Polytechnic. The Arabian Gulf University was established by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Iraq. The College of Health Sciences was established by the Ministry of Health.

Foreign Students Admission

Quotas: 5% reservation for non-Bahraini students to the College of Arts, Science and Education.

Admission requirements: Foreign students should have qualifications equivalent to the Bahrain Secondary School Leaving Certificate. 




Children With Special Needs

The Special Education Group at the Directorate of Primary Education is responsible for identifying the handicapped students and the supervision of students with special needs in public schools as well as special institutions abroad.

Some government schools have remedial classes for slow learners and low achievers according to the school's needs for these classes. The Ministry also adopts in a group of schools the project of integrating students with special needs into ordinary classes together with their normal peers with the aim of avoiding their separation from the environmental life, i.e., the ordinary schools and classes.

The Special Education Group takes also the responsibility of discovering other cases such as mentally retardation, deaf, speech defect, and blind in government schools and transferring them to the specialized institutions and centers supported by the Ministry.








Student Visas

Student visas are provided by the individual institutions. The administrative expense will amount to AED 1,500 for a 3 years valid visa. This amount is usually paid at the time of registration. However, some institutions may include this administrative expense in their tuition fees.



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