Bahrain lawmaker calls for education ombudsman
A Bahraini lawmaker has called for establishing an ombudsman in the education ministry to help address possible grievances.
“The education ministry is among the weightiest service portfolios in the government,” Sawsan Taqawi, member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security said. “It has a high number of employees and serves a large segment of the society. It has students from different ages and this means the inevitability of problems that require independent studies and search in order to make the right decisions in a neutral, transparent and independent manner,” she said.
Establishing an ombudsman would help preserve the rights of all people and tackle all problems and negative phenomena.
“Bahrain has had a successful experience in establishing an ombudsman in the interior ministry, the first of its type in the Gulf. The experience should be extended by having an ombudsman in the education ministry. The office should be set up based on the experience of democratic and advanced countries in establishing such offices in various government sectors that interact with the people.” she added.
The ombudsman would look into grievances and complaints filed against ministry staff when they engage in an act of misconduct or make unfair decisions.
This entitles a follow up by the ombudsman either through administrative or disciplinary measures or transferring those charged with grave misconduct to the public prosecution. Those who file the complaint should be informed about the various actions and measures taken in connection with their case.
The education ministry should issue a report regularly that should be also submitted to the parliament, the cabinet and the concerned parties.
“The privacy of those who file complaints or report grievance should be maintained at all times. The ombudsman should also monitor the implementation of the education policies and confront any violation,” said Sawsan.
Bahrain in July formally launched its first ombudsman in the ministry of interior amid pledges that it would take up all cases reported against uniformed and civilian staff for alleged acts of misconduct.
The ombudsman was set up as part of an overhaul of the ministry to instill a new work culture to ensure compliance with a new code of ethics.