Bahrain's public school system was founded as
early as 1919 and is of relatively high quality.
Schooling is compulsory from 6 to 14 years of age.
The elementary school is divided into three stages.
Virtually all children go to the lower and middle
stages; more than 95 percent of the students go on to
high school, according to UN data. Then there are
three-year-olds, corresponding to upper secondary
Country facts of Bahrain, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Around a third then went on to higher education, more
women than men. Bahrain has a university, which had
about 25,000 students enrolled in the 2016/2017 academic
year, of which nearly two-thirds are women.
There is also a medical college and since 2007,
through collaboration with France, a business college.
When it comes to higher education, Bahrain also
collaborates with neighboring countries such as Qatar
and the United Arab Emirates. It is partly an attempt to
come up with criticism of higher education for not being
adapted to the needs of the labor market, which has led
many highly educated to go unemployed. The business
community also carries out its own educational efforts.
Indians in Bahrain (the largest immigrant group) are
allowed to run their own schools. As early as the early
1900s, before the Indian schools, a private school was
started by Ajam, people of Persian origin, who
among other things wanted to organize teaching in Farsi.
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FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
97.4 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
86.5 percent (2001)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
7.5 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
7.5 percent (2016)
Ali Salman grips
al-Wifaq leader Ali Salman is arrested and charged for rioting after he took
part in a demonstration against the government along with thousands of Shi'ite
Muslims in the capital Manama. After the arrest, Salman's supporters hold daily
demonstrations demanding that he be released. In June 2015, however, he was
sentenced to four years in prison, for encouraging civil disobedience, spreading
hatred of the regime and for "insulting" public institutions.
Zainab al-Khawaja is sentenced to prison
Zainab al-Khawaja, daughter of Abdulhadi and sister of Maryam al-Khawaja, is
sentenced to three years in prison for breaking a picture of the king during a
trial. In another trial shortly thereafter, she was sentenced to 16 months in
prison for insulting a government official and for causing damage to public
property. Previously, Zainab al-Khwaja was sentenced to one month in prison for
staying on "forbidden land" at Pearl Square (in December 2012), and to three
months in prison for "insulting and violating a public servant" (in March 2013).
Maryam al-Khawaja is sentenced to prison
Human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja is sentenced to one year in prison in
her absence. She was arrested at the airport in August when she comes to Bahrain
to visit her imprisoned father Abdulhadi al-Khawaja (see May 2012),
and was charged with violence against an official. Maryam al-Khawaja, who also
has Danish citizenship, was released on conditionally in September and then left
New house search at Isa Qasim
Authorities are again conducting a house search with the country's highest
Shiite leader Isa Qasim (see May 2013).
Independence predominates in parliamentary elections
In the parliamentary elections held in two rounds, on November 22 and 29,
independent candidates receive 37 seats, the Salafist group al-Asalaett mandate
and the al-Minbarett movement mandate. The Shiite opposition boycott the
election (see October 2014). According to the government,
turnout is 50 percent, while the opposition states that it amounts to a maximum
of 30 percent.
Ambassadors return to Doha
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are sending their
ambassadors back to Doha after the dispute with Qatar was resolved at a meeting
in Saudi Arabia.
al-Wifaq receives an operating ban
A court bans al-Wifaq for three months. The Shiite opposition, including
al-Wifaq, has just called for a boycott of the November parliamentary elections.
The opposition, which, among other things, requires the head of government to be
elected by election and not by the royal family, believes that the elections
will only cement the Sunni Muslim regime's "autocratic (single-government)
Regime critics hunger strikes again
According to media reports, human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja
hungers strikes in prison again, with the aim of attracting international
attention to the situation in Bahrain (see May 2012).
Shia Muslims are deprived of citizenship
Nine Shia Muslims are sentenced to long prison terms and deprived of their
citizenship. They are convicted of smuggling weapons into Bahrain in 2013
intended to be used in terrorist attacks.
Bahrain participates in air strikes against IS
As the United States launches air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) in
Syria, Bahrain, like other states in the region, pledges military support in the
fight against the jihadist movement. The countries have also promised to try to
prevent recruits trying to get to IS via their territory, and to stop making
money payments to IS.
Crown Prince Salman proposes new reforms
Crown Prince Salman presents a series of reforms in an attempt to reach the
opposition ahead of the November elections. Among other things, it is proposed
that Parliament, instead of the King, should approve the government. The
opposition believes that the proposals do not represent the will of the people.
US diplomat expelled
Bahrain interrupts a visit by a high-ranking US diplomat who is sent home
after meeting with opposition representatives. According to a law from 2013,
meetings between local politicians and foreign government officials must be
approved by the government. The US State Department expresses "deep concern"
about the action.
Continued judgments after protest wave
Seven people are sentenced to 15 years in prison for participating in a
demonstration in 2012 when a policeman was killed. At the end of the month,
eight people receive life imprisonment for placing a homemade bomb on a
roadblock, killing one police officer and injuring another. Earlier in the year,
dozens of people were sentenced to long prison sentences for similar crimes.
Shi'a Muslims demand democratic reforms
Tens of thousands of Shi'a Muslims participate in a demonstration demanding
democratic reform. Several thousands also participated in a protest in March
against the discrimination the Shiite Muslims believe the Sunni ruling family is
Press photographer is convicted of assault
A well-known press photographer is sentenced to ten years in prison for
helping in an attack on a police station in 2012. According to the photographer,
he was there to document the incident.
Ambassador is called home from Qatar
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates call home their
ambassadors from Qatar who they accuse of having embarked on the countries'
domestic policies (see Foreign Policy and Defense).
Policemen die in bombing
Three policemen are killed by an explosion that takes place as they try to
disperse regime-critical protesters in a village outside the capital.
Twenty-five people are arrested for bombing, and the authorities classify the
February 14 movement and two other groups as terrorist organizations.
A total of 89 dead as a result of the protests
A total of 89 people are reported to have died since the protests began in
2011, according to the International Federation of Human Rights.
Unrest during anniversary
In connection with the anniversary of the protests on Pärltorget, unrest
erupts in different places. A policeman is killed by a bomb exploding in a
Shiite village outside the capital. At least five other policemen are injured. A
total of 55 people are arrested.
The minimum penalty for insulting the king is increased
the act tightens the minimum penalty for those who offend the king from a few
days to a year.
The government interrupts national dialogue
The government formally interrupts the national dialogue with the opposition,
which began in February 2013.
Shi cable is prohibited
A court bans ulama, the supreme body of Shiite priests, for having
participated in activities that threaten the security of the country.