15 August 2007


Let's face it. We have a lot of clever people in this country, but most of them manage to go brain-dead as they grow older, because of the lack of a strong educational system to keep their brains active. We have a few good private schools, but others aren't so great, and the government school system? Well, no comment there. Many people in our society are ignorant, dependant, financially unstable, and so on..

Shouldn't we take a clue from somewhere like Singapore? In the late 1950's/early 1960's, the country was filled with problems like mass unemployment, housing shortages, racial tensions, and so on. Sounds familiar? Singapore was in a bit of a pickle, and the future didn't seem too bright.

Look at Singapore now, a little under 50 years later: a financial powerhouse, the world's fourth largest forex trading center (after NY, London and Tokyo), a huge manufacturing and electronics economy, is considered the most business-friendly economy in the world, and is currently the 18th wealthiest country in the world (per capita GDP).

Quite a change? Difficult to promote? Well, it was pretty simple actually; faced with a number of disasters (unemployment, housing, etc), the government didn't decide to try and tackle them one by one. For one, they didn't have the resources to fix them, and second, it would take a great lot of effort and knowledge, of which they had little experience. Also, any problems fixed would soon re-surface as you get an increasing population, time passes, etc.

So they thought long-term; let's build a strong education system, schools, college, universities. Let's provide the highest standards of education, so as the children grow, they learn how to cope and deal with the problems that exist, and will have the sufficient knowledge to fix them. They'll grow, they'll learn, they'll create jobs, businesses, sectors, they'll find solutions.

True enough, within one generation, the whole country was turned around. Within two generations, the country has become one of the most successful economies in the world. And by next generation, who knows where it will be?

Can we have some of that here? Some education? Some strong, quality education? Reform all the schools, bring in excellent teachers, audit our univesities, fix our whole educational system. We have smart people in Bahrain; most of them just go brain-dead under our current system, we need our people to be challenged, strengthened, given the tools to promote and advance. We need that to get rid of the corruption, the unemployment, the shortages, the ignorance..

Please.. Fix our educational system..


Merlin said...

You will either give yourself a heart attack or end up extremely suicidal....

I recommend a rapid departure and exit from that miserable place, for your own sake...

Yacoub said...

Well rest assured my friend, Bahrain has started noticing Singapore and already are benefitting from their experiences concerning educational and financial reform.

The benefits of their educational reform is that their children are the smartest in the world based on the 2003 TIMSS exams (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) whilst Bahrain who also participated in the same exams scored way below average and are one place ahead of Palestine!

We will see how Bahrain will fair with this year's exam as the exams are given to fourth graders and eighth graders (ثاني إعدادي) every four years.

The Ministry of Education in Bahrain haved started a plan to create a new teachers college in place of the education college in Bahrain University in cooperation with the National Institute of Education in Singapore and a couple of months ago several professors from the NIE came to Bahrain and gave lectures and training to an 'elite' group of over thirty people from different backgrounds from teachers to principals to managers whom will be the core of the new college. This group continued their training in Singapore visiting the NIE and having a closer look at their facilities and I have been told by one of this group that everything is hi-tech with multi-touch screens etc..

So just hope that they don't corrupt this project with the usual but there is still hope

Ammar456 said...

well yacoub, although i dont feel it, I sure hope we are moving somewhere.