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Volume :1 Issue : 1 1975      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

EDUCATIONAL PLANNING IN BAHRAIN AND THE CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE

Auther : Hamad Alsuleti

 

         Educational planning is of paramount importance for the developing nations. It is a prerequisite for social and economic growth. The late “premier, Nehru, put the matter succinctly: “We have to learn how to run before we learn ho to walk”.

         Educational planning consists of three phases: quantitative expansion, a complimentary plant to economic and social planning, a qualitative improvement scheme to perfect academic programs and methods of instruction. The primary goal of educational planning is the realization of the best possible results from available resources in order to make education an avenue for growth and investment in a material and human sense.

         Bahrain’s population is 216,000, 17.5% are non-Bahrainis, 48.15% are under the age of 15.

         Bahrain is highly dependent on oil revenues, especially refining, whence 62% of its revenues are derived (20m. dinars).

         The labor force of Bahrain, according to the 1971 census is 59590 workers or 28 of the entire population, of these 22,212 are non-Bahrainis or 37% of the labor force. Most Bahrainis are employed in construction and services but few of them are in government services. Of 4824 technical and vocational posts, Bahrainis occupy only 2886, foreigners 1938 or 40.2% of the total, of 1055 business and administrative managers, Bahrainis constitute 549, foreigners 486 or 47% of total.

         Regarding educational qualifications, 76% of the workers have elementary education, and only 5.1% have higher education. There is no University in Bahrain. There is only the Industrial Gulf College and two teacher-training colleges for elementary and intermediate education. The period between 1962 and 1972 witnessed tremendous growth in educational expansion. For instance, the number of boys increased from 16144 at the elementary level to 21568 and the number of girls from 9113 to 16335. The campaign to stamp out illiteracy started in 1973.

         To redress the balance in favor of the Bahrainis, the government increased its allocated budget for educational purposes from 1,825,040 dinars in 1963 to 5856,206 in 1973. The stress is on commercial and industrial vocational training so that all-around socio-economic planning would be enhanced.

         Efforts at educational planning were at first spasmodic but since 1967, it has become systematic, and a committee to supervise planning and educational relations was created. But its principal function is to plan and make proposals which link educational development to economic growth and the needs of society. Moreover, in 1970 a committee of ministers representing education, finance, economics, health and social affairs was formed with a view to coordinating educational programs and in 1971 the Manpower Planning Council was established and so was the Unit for Educational Planning (1972). To effectuate its programs the state has relied on Arab experts as well as UNESCO and UNICEF help.

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