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Educational System in Bahrain

The one tip that you hear expats living in Bahrain repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Bahrain. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Bahrain is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Bahrain.

As an expat in Bahrain, understanding the educational system is crucial for your children’s academic journey. Bahrain’s education system is one of the oldest in the Arabian Peninsula and is highly regarded for its high standards. The Ministry of Education in Bahrain oversees all stages of education, including pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education. The system is designed to provide all students with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in a globalized world. This guide will provide you with an overview of the main stages of education in Bahrain, enrollment procedures, language requirements, public and private schooling options, and homeschooling and online schooling possibilities.

What are the main stages of education in Bahrain?

The Bahraini education system is divided into four main stages: Kindergarten, Primary School, Intermediate School, and Secondary School. Kindergarten is for children aged 3 to 5, Primary School is for ages 6 to 11, Intermediate School is for ages 12 to 14, and Secondary School is for ages 15 to 17. Each stage focuses on different areas of learning and development, with a strong emphasis on literacy, numeracy, and science throughout.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

To enroll your child in a Bahraini school, you will need to provide a number of documents, including your child’s birth certificate, passport, residence permit, and previous school records. You will also need to fill out an application form, which can usually be obtained from the school’s administration office or website. It’s advisable to start the enrollment process well in advance of the school year to secure a place for your child.

My children are still learning Arabic, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Arabic can enroll in public schools in Bahrain. However, it’s important to note that the medium of instruction in public schools is Arabic, so it may be challenging for non-Arabic speaking students. Some schools offer additional Arabic language support for non-native speakers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are a number of public bilingual schools in Bahrain that offer instruction in both Arabic and English. These schools are a great option for expat children who are still learning Arabic. Admission to these schools is typically based on an entrance exam and an interview.

What types of private schools are common in Bahrain?

There are a variety of private schools in Bahrain, including international schools, bilingual schools, and religious schools. International schools often follow the curriculum of their home country, such as the British, American, or Indian curriculum. Bilingual schools offer instruction in both Arabic and English, while religious schools provide education based on a particular faith.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Most expats in Bahrain choose to send their children to private schools, particularly international schools. This is mainly due to the language barrier in public schools and the high standard of education offered by private schools.

How expensive are Private schools in Bahrain?

Private school fees in Bahrain can vary greatly depending on the school. On average, you can expect to pay between BHD 1,000 and BHD 6,000 per year. International schools tend to be the most expensive, with fees often exceeding BHD 10,000 per year.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Bahrain?

Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Bahrain. However, it’s important to ensure that your child’s homeschooling curriculum meets the standards set by the Bahraini Ministry of Education. You may also need to register your homeschool with the Ministry.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Bahrain?

Yes, online schooling is an option for expat children living in Bahrain. There are a number of accredited online schools that offer a comprehensive curriculum for all grade levels. However, it’s important to check with the Bahraini Ministry of Education to ensure that the online school is recognized and that your child will receive a valid certificate of education.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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