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 education.
- COUNTRYAAH: 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.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
97.4 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
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 the country.
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) rule”.
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 guilty of.
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.