A bill to impose BD400 annual fees on non-Bahraini pupils who’re studying in public schools was rejected yesterday considering it as a deprivation of one of children’s essential rights.
The bill was initially submitted by MP Jalal Kadhim back in 2015 and it exempts GCC nationals from paying the fees.
The existing law stipulates that “fundamental (primary and intermediate) and secondary education should be free for all in public schools in the Kingdom of Bahrain”. If approved, the bill would impose annual fees of BD400 on non-Bahraini students in public schools.
In yesterday’s discussion, a number of MPs voiced out their rejection to the bill, raising several concerns such as harming children’s right to receive education, the spread of illiteracy and violating international agreements which Bahrain is committed to before the world.
Kadhim, who burst into anger in response to his fellow MPs’ rejection to the bill, insisted that “the priority of free education should given only to Bahraini citizens”, stating that “some expats have seven children who receive free education while many citizens are now forced to enroll their children in private schools because of the existing pressure on public schools”.
“We must have controls and standards to regulate this matter. Education Minister mentioned in previous statements that each pupil in public schools annually costs the state a total of BD3,000. Today we have 17,800 foreign students enrolled in public schools. They cost the government more than BD52 Million,” Kadhim cited.
Source Credit: DT News