Bahrain’s Education System: CBSE | AISSE | AISSCE

  • ACIO
  • November 24, 2023
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Bahrain boasts the oldest public education system in the Arabian Peninsula. According to 2010 census data, Bahrain’s literacy rate was 94.6%, ranking among the highest in its neighbours. The Ministry of Education is in charge of the country’s educational system.

A Brief History of Bahrain’s Education System

Before the 20th century, the only form of education in Bahrain was the Quranic schools, mainly dedicated to studying the holy book Qur’an. The first modern school in the country was established in 1899 by the Reformed Church in America in Manama, which teaches Mathematics, English, and Christian studies.

In 1919, after World War I, the first public school for boys, ‘Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia’, was established, followed by the first public school for girls, ‘Khaddeejah AlKobra School’, in 1928. In 1930, the Bahraini government took over the schools, and since then, the country’s education system has kept expanding.

Bahrain’s Current Education System

  • Nowadays, Bahrain’s education system is growing like never before. Currently, there are two types of schools in Bahrain – public schools and private schools.
  • As per the 2015/16 report published by the MoE, there are 208 public schools, 75 private schools, and 14 higher education universities operational in Bahrain.
  • Out of the 75 private schools, 35 are International in Bahrain and follow different curricula (e.g., American, British, International Baccalaureate, and Indian – CBSE curriculum Bahrain). Among them is St. Christopher’s School – one of the eight best international schools in the world, located in Bahrain. It is the only school from the Middle East to secure a spot on the list.
  • Furthermore, for schools, the Bahrain education system is divided into three tiers:
Stage Grade Years Duration
Primary Stage Two Cycles – 3 Grades Each 6 -11 years old 6 Years
Intermediate Stage One Cycle – 3 Grades 12 – 14 years old 3 Years
Secondary Stage Six Semesters 15 – 17 years old 3 Years
  • The primary stage combined with the intermediate stage make Bahrain’s nine years of basic education which is compulsory for all children aged between 6-14 years.
  • Public schools in Bahrain provide free education to both Bahraini and non-Bahraini students until the secondary stage, as well as free textbooks, transportation, uniforms, and even meals.
  • Under its new education system, students can choose between two secondary-level tracks: Unified Track or Vocational Track. Students who choose the Unified Track will be able to pursue one of three divisions: Science, Commercial or Arts/Literary. Students who choose the Vocational Track can obtain either a technical stream (applied or technical vocational) or an apprenticeship program.
  • In 2004, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa launched the “Schools of the Future” project with the aim of connecting all schools in the Kingdom through the Internet and introducing the idea of E-Learning.

Post-Secondary or Higher education system in Bahrain

In Bahrain, higher education can be attained at many levels, such as College Education, Post Secondary Education, Post Graduate Education, and Research Programs that offer Diplomas, Certificates, and Degrees offered by state institutes and private universities, approved by Bahrain’s Ministry of Higher Education. Furthermore, while the majority of finances for higher education come from the government, private partnerships are also encouraged.

CBSE Bahrain

CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education- is the front-runner education board established & run by the Government of India. It is the most preferred curriculum for Indian expatriates in Bahrain.

Just like in India, CBSE is responsible for conducting two board examinations every year for grades 10th & 12th in addition to prescribing exam conditions, patterns, duration and issuing qualifying certificates to all the qualified candidates via schools in Bahrain as well.

The two examinations conducted by CBSE Qatar are AISSE (All India Secondary School Examination) for grade 10th & AISSCE (All India Senior School Certificate Examination) for grade 12th.

As a part of CBSE’s recently-introduced Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) program, the board administers the AISSE during March and April.

AISSE Bahrain

The AISSE School Completion Certificate, Marksheet, and Migration Certificate are given to successful candidates to continue their future education.

The exams cover five subjects, including English, a Language (Native or Foreign), Sciences, Mathematics, and Social Sciences, each contributing 100 marks, totalling 500 marks. The score helps students determine their stream – Science, Commerce, or Arts/ Humanities.

AISSCE Bahrain

The All India Senior School Certificate Examination is a higher qualification exam pursued by CBSE students. AISSCE scores are accessed by Universities while deciding whether or not to admit students to various degree programs.

CBSE syllabus Bahrain

All the CBSE-affiliated schools in Bahrain are instructed to follow the prescribed NCERT syllabus.

CBSE Bahrain students are eligible to appear in various national and international Olympiads. In addition, science stream students are eligible for competitive exams like IIT-JEE (Mains + Advanced) & NEET-UG. Upon successful qualification, based on their marks & cut-offs, they can pursue higher studies in reputed institutes, universities, and colleges of their choice across India and abroad. Both NEET and JEE exams have examination centres in Bahrain for students to take exams near their homes.

The education system in Bahrain indicates the popularity of the CBSE-based Indian curriculum. For NRI students residing in Bahrain and preparing for various competitive exams like IIT-JEE, NEET-UG, and Olympiads, ALLEN Overseas is the leading coaching institute that provides 360-degree support to its students in their journey towards success. With our digital classroom program, you can start your academic journey towards excellence near your home locations. For any queries, comments, or doubts, get in touch with us, and we’ll gladly assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What percentage of Bahrain’s population is educated?

A: Last measured, Bahrain’s Literacy rate was 95.7 %.

Q: What are the school timings in Bahrain?

A: School timings vary depending on the school, curriculum and grade, but typically, the schools in Bahrain start at around 7:30 AM and end at 3.00 PM, from Sunday to Thursday.

Q: How long is the school year in Bahrain?

A: The academic year begins in September and ends in July, with two-week holidays in December and March.

Q: Are phones allowed in Bahrain schools?

A: No, mobile phone usage is strictly prohibited in Bahrain schools.

Q: Are the board exam paper is same for Indian and NRI students residing in Bahrain?

A: No, though the paper pattern, marking scheme, exam syllabus and  the difficulty level is same, CBSE provides a different set of question papers for NRI/ Overseas students.

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