Bahrain education ministry, MPs spar over school day extension

April 1, 2012

Bahrain’s education ministry has criticised a parliamentarian probe panel for visiting schools without coordinating with their administrations and for involving students in the issue of extended hours.

The panel was formed this month after the ministry and the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament sparred over the merit of extending the school day by 45 minutes.

The ministry said that the extra time would be used to expand the students’ activities and boost their aptitudes.

However, several MPs resisted the move, saying that it was unpopular among parents and that it would disrupt family routines.

Following visits to assess the reactions of students and staff and the readiness of the schools, the panel said that the time extension should not be applied.

However, the ministry issued a statement criticising both the visits and the statements.

“The parliamentarian team did not respect the privacy of schools and took up controversial issues with students in a blatant violation of education standards,” the ministry said.

“The MPs pushed the students into a situation where they had to talk directly with them over issues that should be taken up with the ministry. They also took pictures with the students without following the proper procedures,” the statement said.

The ministry said that the 45 minutes to be added to the school days would enhance the learning process and required support from all parties.

“We were shocked by the statements issued by the MPs after visiting some schools and in which they criticised the move to extend the school day by claiming that schools were not ready,” the ministry said.



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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