Ministers in Bahrain, Kuwait seek to prolong school day to hone students’ skills and integrate IT in the curriculum

March 21, 2010

Majed Al Naimi

The education ministers of Bahrain and Kuwait have called for prolonging the school day to help improve learning standards.

In Kuwait, Moodhi Al Humood said that extending the day would help students gain greater insights into the curriculum and hone their learning skills.

“One of the solutions to help enhance students’ aptitudes is to extend the school day,” she said. “Kuwait has one of the shortest school days in the world and that is not helping us move forward.”

The minister said that her strategy to improve educational levels was based on boosting the skills and adaptability of the teachers and ameliorating the curriculum.

“We will work on a better qualification of the future teachers at the university and we will follow by a professional training using modern systems and methodologies,” she said.

The teachers’ association will be a crucial partner in improving standards despite divergences with the ministry over some issues, the minister said in an interview with Kuwait Television.

“We have launched a programme that covers all education levels to shift from a traditional way of learning to a modern one that integrates information technology in the curriculum,” she said. “We want to achieve the highest competitive levels in our schools and we are working closely with competent authorities.”

Al Humood warned against the proliferation of private tutoring, saying that there was a need to combat the phenomenon.

“It seems that private lessons have become the rule, not the exception. We need to tackle the issue by opening schools in the afternoon to help the less able students,” she said.

In Bahrain, Majed Al Naimi, the education minister, said that extending the school day had become a necessity to help the ministry improve the curriculum and boost the students’ skills.

“Our aim is to help students through improving standards and turn schools into a multi-dimensional source of learning. This cannot be done when we have the existing time limit,” the minister said on Saturday. “We need to extend the day by up 50 minutes so that we can engage in better learning practices,” he said.

An experiment at a girls school in Muharraq, Bahrain’s second largest city, has been highly conclusive, according to the minister.

“We have run a pilot essay in Muharraq Girls School and we are very pleased with the results. We have noted that girls have improved their standards in 13 courses, compared with last year’s first term. Thanks to the 50 minutes a day, teachers and students have had ample time to work together towards better results,” he said.

A similar call by Al Naimi had waded into controversy after it was rejected by teachers and parents who vociferously complained that a longer day would negatively affect the school staff and students.

Al Naimi this time however said that teachers would be given up to BD100 a month for the extra time they would be spending in the school.

The day for government high school students in Bahrain starts at 7:10 am and ends at 1:30 pm.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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