Education Minister and Scholarships: Blatant Lies

2023-08-16 - 10:14 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): No one was surprised this year, like previous years, by the continuation of discriminatory policies regarding scholarships that have been practiced in an organized and deliberate manner since 2011. The methods have changed and the policies have remained the same.

In past years, discrimination has been public and blatant. The minister or official did not need to justify his actions by anything other than the "personal interview" that was conducted to ruin the student's efforts achieved over three consecutive years. The questions in the interview were rude, in which students were asked about their political affiliation, their opinion of the king, crown prince, and prime minister, and sometimes even asked questions about detailed matters in the Shiite doctrine that should not be the focus of any interview under any pretext.

However, the decision-maker at the time was free to ask insulting or provocative questions to students who knew the outcome of the interview from the nature of the questions addressed to them.

After years of constant complaints and successive media scandals, the ministry was no longer in need of the personal interview, limiting itself to the grade rates as the "only criterion" for scholarships, as the education minister claimed a couple of days ago.

But those who know the minister and his background, the state and its policies, were aware in advance that this talk is just material for media consumption that has no realistic grounds.

The minister said that 1,875 male and female students whose averages exceeded 95% received a "comprehensive scholarship," adding that, "1,300 received their first desired major, 195 received the second, while the rest (380 students) received the third choices or beyond that."

The numbers don't seem to be bad to anyone unfamiliar with the minister, his views and practices before he took office, but a closer look is enough to expose his lie.

The minister is satisfied with the figures he gives to the media, and no one demands any proof, so he decided to say that he granted about 1,500 top students their first and second choices, but parents' opinions on social media say otherwise.

A parent says in his comment on this news, "My daughter scored 97.5% and was given her ninth choice." Another says his son "scored 97% and got his eighth choice." The comments went on until someone said that the Ministry of Education deliberately does not give students their first desired choice, because the graduates would have to opt for a regular scholarship, adding that all his children accepted the regular scholarship instead of the full scholarship.

In the comments, we discover that discriminatory policies are no longer exclusive to the University of Bahrain, but are practiced at the Bahrain Polytechnic.

The Minister of Education can say whatever he wants, but everyone knows that what he says is pure nonsense. He wants most of the top students here to be convinced that they are among the 20% that did not get their first or second choices, knowing that no one will demand proof of what he is saying, and if people do question him, they will be unable to compel the minister or ministry to provide evidence.

The minister does not seem to be in the process of pursuing non-discriminatory policies, as he is one of the figures known for his inciting attitude during the events of 2011. The situation didn't escalate out of nowhere, but by the lies spewed in the media, desperately defending killers and torturers, and continuous attacks against the opposition and the Shiite community.

However, the talk about equality when it comes to scholarships and how they're distributed will not stop as long as one person feels injustice. The only case that can silence everyone is demonstrating transparency by openly publishing the given scholarships and their beneficiaries in the media in an official manner to end this controversy and debate that has become an annual occurrence.

Arabic Version