Student who Scored 100% Denied Scholarship due to Her Family Name “Khawaja”

2019-10-26 - 7:03 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A mother of a student who didn't receive a scholarship to study dentistry dropped a bomb at a seminar held by the Progressive Tribune (Al-Menbar) on the "Priority of Scholarships as a Tool for Development" on October 10, 2019, when she said that her daughter who scored 100% wasn't given a scholarship for the dentistry major she desired to study because of her family name "Khawaja".

Mother of Manal Ahmad has a Phd in teaching Mathematics and has worked for years in the Ministry of Education's scholarship department. She has also worked at the Measurement and Evaluation Center in the ministry. Student Raneem Eyad Ahmed Maki Al-Khawaja graduated from Al-Bayan school with a 100% average.

With a broken heart, the mother recounts the terrible and flagrant discrimination her daughter suffered: there are 9 students competing on 5 medical scholarships in private schools, my daughter who achieved a complete score (100%) was not among the five. I neither know the students who received the scholarships nor their averages. We also don't know who received the 20 seats for medicine at the Arab Gulf University. My daughter was not among any of them. They gave her a scholarship. But what could we do with only 400 dinars a year? When I filed a complaint, they told me that she can choose any major she wants in the University of Bahrain!

Dr. Manal adds: when I told my daughter's problem to one of the MPs he said to me: her family name is Khawaja, how do you expect her to receive a scholarship?

She continues: Even MP Zeinab Abdulamir took the case but did nothing with it. The Parliament was at the end of its legislative term and the new term will start soon. This case won't be opened because it would be so late.

She went on to say: My daughter was not honored by any party in the government. Her excellence is an invaluable fortune, what sin she committed to be prevented the scholarship she desires and deserves? What would the government offer me when my daughter falls into depression?

Dr. Manal condemns the alleged capabilities exam based on which the scholarships are distributed: on what basis is the capabilities test put? Who is setting this test? What capability does a question such as: What would you do if your passport was lost reveal? Is that even a question?

She complains that her daughter was even denied the scholarships granted by the Bahrain Oil Company (Babco), she says: After filling out the company's application, the Ministry of Education nominated 40 and they were contacted and interviewed by the company, but my daughter was not contacted. When I checked with the company and talked to the hiring manager, he said that the names come directly from the Ministry of Education and that my daughter's name was not among them. When I contacted the ministry, they denied their relation in choosing the names, and claimed that they were nothing more than a link.

Dr. Manal denounces her daughter's denial of the scholarship she deserves due to her family name which is resented by the authorities. Meanwhile, the mother says that the family is not concerned in politics: "We don't have any relation with politics". She stressed with sorrow: "I told my children to omit the family name from their IDs when they give birth to children so they don't get hurt like this." 

Arabic Version