Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the top economically liberal countries where education is envisioned as a critical strategic investment. The country has progressed with time and technology, and is consistently grooming its education sector through advancement in quality, skills, entrepreneurship, and technology. The year 2018 kick-started on the heels of success of 2017. The onus is on Bahrainis to maintain the momentum this year.
In 2017, under the patronage of Prime Minister His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Bahrain organized the Government Forum. The academic highlight of the event was ‘Quality of Education award’ bestowed upon the two government elementary schools, Rabia Al Adawia and Al Roudha. Many private companies supported the government-school sector with their intuitiveness, intelligence, and innovation. Substantial national development happened through prudent and bridged efforts between different private and public organizations.
Bahrain is usually acknowledged as the arbiter of modernization and liberalism in GCC. The kingdom holds the repute of the oldest public education system in the Gulf and identifies education as a pivotal development area in Bahraini Vision 2030 where uplifting higher education system in Bahrain holds greater importance.
The Future Schools Program takes a leap further with the incorporation of progressive EdTech innovations like AR and VR. The Bahrain Higher Education strategy for 2014-2024 focuses on leveraging international best practices for Bahrain-specific standards and harnessing the educational competencies. In view of Dr. Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi, the Minister of Education and Chairman of the Higher Education Council, the strategy presents a stern action plan to provide skills, support the students, and contribute in job creation through enterprise and innovation.
The Bahrain Education Ministry is keen on partnering with private innovators and entrepreneurs determined to bring in development. Diversification of education in Bahrain while heartily accepting the unequivocal change brought by AR, VR, and Ai is a welcome move. As per the data by IDC, the MENA VR tech market is expected to grow at $6B annually by 2020. VR and AR markets will be worth $1.06 billion by 2018. The wearables market will continue seeing booming growth. IDC predicts market expansion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% over the 2016–2021 period.
The impact of this growth is evident and encouraging in the education sector. The region visions 1 million VR expeditions in 2018. The role of expeditions in crafting the student imagination is significant where they can immerse themselves and comprehend perspectives in studies. Schools are benefitting from these visual rides and the government is wholeheartedly supporting the initiative.
H.E. Dr. Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi, the Minister of Education recently issued a ministerial directive of acknowledging high-performing private schools and granting them numerous benefits in different forms. The welcome move is to motivate the schools in maintaining their outstanding performance and encourage other schools to adopt innovative ideas as well.
Dr. Sana Farid, who is an AR VR trainer and an educationalist, lays focus on exploring the use of technology in classrooms, “There is a huge potential in the raw and talented youth of our country. These passionate individuals can acquire immaculate skills and expertise in their domains, if groomed properly with right development and innovation backed education. As a researcher, I regularly uncover newer benefits of immersive technology and can firmly posit that the judicious use of technology will imbibe quality expertise, skill, and ambition in our citizens.”
Let us all celebrate the achievements of the past, toil in the present to create an optimistic future.