National Commission says media and educational reform moving forward

March 10, 2012

Actions taken by Bahrain’s government to reform media and education are significant steps towards national reconciliation, the National Commission said.

The commission was set up to oversee the implementation of a set of recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), an international fact-finding panel tasked by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa to determine responsibilities in the events that hit Bahrain in February and March and their consequences.

The National Commission said that the Media Reform Plan (MRP) received from the government and whose implementation is currently in progress was found to fulfill the BICI recommendations related to media.

The plan was drafted based on proposals made by French media experts to relax censorship and fund programmes to enhance participation by everyone.

The MRP calls for the establishment of a High Media Council, the consolidation of all media laws into one law and the establishment of an educational institute to train future journalists and communication professionals.

The plan also provides for the construction of an integrated media city to attract Arab and international radio and television media companies, develop Bahraini media in partnership with the private sector and pave the way for the establishment of private satellite channels.

Referring to recommendations related to the development of educational programmes appropriate for current conditions, the National Commission cited reforms of academic curricula, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and UNESCO.

Other educational proposals call for the development of primary, secondary and tertiary education programmes promoting religious and political tolerance, promoting the upholding of human rights and the rule of law and implementing regulations to safeguard the sanctity of educational institutes in line with international laws.

The commission also proposed the reconsideration of social education and citizenship curricula at all educational levels and assigning competent education experts supported by Arab and international professionals to prepare and issue education programmes renouncing current attitudes of rejecting sectarian, ethnic and cultural diversity. The aim is to transform this curricula into a foundation upon which to foster more tolerant attitudes among youth, the commission said.

In addition to the activation of parent-teacher associations, schools will also be responsible for organizing periodic events and meetings for parents that will create a bond between families and schools.

Rehabilitation programmes for the education sector are currently under development, with professional ethics based on tolerance, acceptance of others and coexistence of the various segments of the Bahraini society.

The High Council for Islamic Affairs, in collaboration with the education ministry, has been assigned to rewrite Islamic education curricula at the three levels of education in order to include common denominators between all the people of Bahrain so that education curricula takes into consideration the values of pluralism and coexistence.



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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