Bahrain education ministry adamant to extend high school day

November 28, 2011

Bahrain’s education minister has rejected parents’ complaints about a decision to extend the high school day by 45 minutes, saying that they were unfounded.

“High school students in Bahrain attend 635 hours of education annually,” he said.

“This is well below the 920 hours in advanced countries and far from the 1,000 hour mark set by Unesco,” Majed Al Nuaimi said.

Earlier this month the ministry waded into controversy after it said that it was adding 45 minutes to the daily high school schedules starting in the second semester in February.

Extra 15 hours a month

“We will have an extra 15 hours a month that will definitely be used to enhance the students’ skills and consolidate their aptitudes. The extra time will be used to boost learning skills in Arabic, English, mathematics and sciences,” the minister said.

“We will also move closer to international school days standards,” he told a local Arabic daily.

Students will leave school at 2.15pm, instead of the current 1:30 pm and teachers will be given bonuses for the extra time.


However, parents said that the new timing would make unnecessary demands on the students and many of them wrote open letters, published in the local media, urging the ministry to reconsider the decision.

Yet, the ministry remained adamant and said that it would move ahead with the plan to extend the daily hours.

“The experience we conducted at a girls’ school in Muharraq was truly successful and the students benefited greatly from the extra time,” Al Nuaimi said.

“A survey showed that 89 per cent of the girls said that they were pleased with the extension. It also found that 73 per cent of the teachers benefited from the extra time.”

According to the ministry, parents of students attending private schools have not voiced any complaint or grievance about the much longer learning hours.



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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