Bahrain lawmakers, education minister clash over extending school day

February 1, 2012
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A clash between the education minister and lawmakers over extending the school day by 45 minutes has overshadowed the parliament session.

Several MPs pushed to make Majid Al Nuaimi postpone the application of a new rule that extends the end of schools hours from 1:30pm to 2:15pm, arguing that more time was needed to study the merit of the proposal.

“I am surprised with the insistence of the minister on the new timings,” MP Ahmad Al Saati said. “I believe we are rushing into a situation that requires more time and studies. We do support higher learning standards and a more positive environment, but we are also aware that there is a negative impact on the students and the families and we do need to look at that,” he said. His views were echoed by fellow lawmakers.

“We do support better standards,” MP Ali Al Durazi. “The issue we have is that the ministry wants to implement its ideas quickly and without giving others enough time to look at them,” he said.

MP Hassan Al Dossari said that the minister would have to convince parents of the merit of applying the proposal. “I think that the proposal should be delayed to allow the minister time to convince parents, teachers and students,” he said, “The proposal has wide-ranging consequences and all concerned parties should be truly involved,” he said.

However, Al Nuaimi insisted that pilot schools that experimented with the longer hours have reported positive feedback and support for the proposal.

“We need the 45 minutes to help students improve their learning skills,” he said. “The daily addition will provide the students with an extra 15 hours every month and will bring Bahrain closer to international world standards on time spent in schools and in good results in international exams, particularly in science and math,” he said.

The new schedules will give priority to languages, math and science and will help boost the students’ aptitudes, the minister said.

“We were supposed to star the application of the new timings at the beginning of the academic year in September. However, we had to delay it as a result of the unrest that hit Bahrain and other factors. So, we will do it in February when students resume their studies following the mid-year break,” Al Nuaimi said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/bahrain-lawmakers-education-minister-clash-over-extending-school-day-1.974296

 

         

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About the author

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

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