04 April, 2010

Murdering intelligence is a crime.

In my job, I interview private sector employees and analyze their jobs in order to set a training plan to improve their performance or ready them for a new position. The employees fill out an assessment form before I start and I just seen one of the worst, although a common sight, unfortunately.
A young man, born on 1987, has a hard time writing properly. Simply writing! He left school at junior high, never finishing it.
The number of Bahrainis that leave school is shocking me. I don't have numbers but I constantly see young, very young Bahraini's who are illiterate or are very weak in basic reading and writing. The fact that our kingdom has systems that allow illiterate people to exist frankly sickens me.
As far as I know, primary education is mandatory. However, if I was, say, to not allow my son to study, are there any penalties to be imposed on me? Would anyone notice in the first place?
I saw many illiterate working men my age or younger who dropped out of primary school. How on earth is it possible that we cannot track and stop such occurrences? 

I suggest demand that education up to high school be mandatory. Parents who fail to allow their children to study up to high school should be punished by law. Repeat offenders may face numerous penalties aiming to benefit the child. Extreme cases need the child to be removed from the custody of his/her parents and allowed to study should his/her parents deny him/her education or lead destructive lives that prevents the kids from studying.

And to all the Maatams and Mosques, shame on you. You should step up your game! These places of worship are blessed with strong social relationships and has a social responsibility to society. They should address parents who allow their kids to not study or prevent them from doing so. These social measures would often be more useful than regular legal measures.

The ongoing problem is that the illiterate do not try to improve themselves at all. The government does provide alternatives for adults who wish to finish their studies up to high school, but I have yet to meet one who did despite spending 3 years on this project. I was really ecstatic to hear about A9eel which is a unique programme to promote good work ethics and in turn push for individuals to improve themselves. I hope that the data of my work helped Tamkeen see the extent of the problem and made them come up with this.

If you know someone who stopped studying, please, talk to them. If you know of a parent who allows their kids to not study, talk to them, to their kids or report them if so needed. 
You can make a change. Real change. 


Yacoub Al-Slaise said...

From what I know, Bahrain recognizes a person with Basic Education as a person who has finished Intermediate school (junior high school).
When McKinsey did some research here a few years back they found out that nearly half of Bahrain's girls drop out of school after finishing junior high school (unfortunately I couldn't find a link to the actual report online), which is quite frankly extremely shocking!
The education system needs BIG reform here in Bahrain, especially when it comes to teachers who are not only knowledgeable but have the skills to manage a classroom which is a skill unfortunately many teachers don't have in Bahrain!
I'm sure many kids nowadays have stories of playing cards during class etc..

But with the fake reform we are seeing and reading in the papers today, I'm afraid you will see more of those illiterate kids coming into your office.

Hussein Nasser said...

Well said,

Not only the level of education in Bahrain is outdated , its not designed properly. The concept of Tests really kills creativity

you remind me of a Ted presentation for Sir Ken Robinson

Do schools kill creativity?