In the kingdom of Bahrain, (the nine-year-long) basic education is compulsory for children whose ages are between 6 & 14. All children must be enrolled either in the government schools or the private ones.
The MoE has given great importance to the development of all educational stages in view of a carefully studied plan and programmed projects. The following is a brief description of the various stages of education in Bahrain
Basic education is divided into two stages as follows:
This stage represents the first formal school ladder in Bahrain and accommodates students of age group 6 - 11. It lasts for six years and divided into two cycles, the first one includes the first three grades of primary education; in which the class-teacher system is applied, whereby in this system a single teacher teaches most of the subjects, except English language, design and technology, music education, and physical education.
The second cycle includes the upper three grades, in which the subject-teacher system is applied, whereby each subject is taught by a teacher who has specialized in a specific discipline, and obtained educational academic qualifications.
The curriculum for the first and the second cycles of basic education, include compulsory common subjects, including: Islamic education, Arabic language, English language, Science and Technology, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Physical Education, Family Education, Art, Music and Songs.
Intermediate stage is considered to be the third cycle and the last one in basic education, which accommodates students of age group 12 - 14, and lasts for three years.
A successful completion of the sixth grade of primary cycle or its equivalent from the literacy education is a prerequisite to join this stage.
The subject-teacher is applied in this stage, whereby each subject is taught by a teacher who has specialized in a specific discipline, and obtained educational academic qualifications.
The curriculum for this stage includes compulsory common subjects, including: Islamic education, Arabic language, English language, science and technology, Mathematics, social studies, handcrafts and physical education.
This stage is considered to be a complementary one to basic education, and a new phase for the student for preparing him/her to enter universities and higher institutions or directly enter the labor market.
It accommodates students of age group 15 - 17; the duration of study is three years, which is divided into six semesters (three levels). A successful completion of the intermediate stage or its equivalent is a requirement to join the first semester of secondary education.
Bahrain is moving towards implementing the new education system or the future structure of education in Bahrain, which is more flexible as the student can obtain one of the provided tracks at the secondary level namely Unified Track or Vocational Track.
The students that who will select the Unified Track can obtain one of the following division: Science, Literary and Commercial .
The students who will select the Vocational Education Track either to obtain Technical stream which is divided into applied or technical vocational or to obtain the apprenticeship program .
The new structure will give the all the graduate the opportunity to continue their further study or to join the labor market, specially the technical school graduate as they faced difficulty if the want to obtain higher certificate.
Bahrain has one of the most developed education systems in the Gulf, and has recently made strong advances in the use of information technology in schools, due to the advanced educational system.
King Hamad bin Khalifa Al Khalifa introduced a new king of project, named King Hamad Schools of Future. This project aims to connect and link all schools within the kingdom of internet and introduce the idea of education everywhere.
Bahrain education is going under huge reform initiatives seeking to develop the education system at all levels and will begin with four main initiatives:
1- Strengthening the teaching profession through improved recruitment, training and employment conditions.
2- Improving Secondary Vocational Education aiming to bring these programs closer to the needs of the private sector.
3- Establishment of the Bahrain Polytechnic which will offer courses in industrial aligned with the applied sciences, which will enable students to obtain professional qualifications though to degree level, with an emphasis on the development of practical skills directly applicable to the job market.
4- Creating an Independent Quality Assurance Authority which will be responsible for conducting inspections of schools, secondary vocational institutions and universities, higher education units, and for running school level examinations.
The MoE has also recently launched the school improvement program which has been designed to lift the performance of all Bahrainis schools and to improve future career outcomes for students through a number of projects that would effect the whole process of the learning and teaching.
These four initiatives are the first part of what will be a long journey of reform. They were selected as they were aligned with the national strategic plan in order to improve the quality of learning in Bahrain's education and forming the foundations for future reforms.