Secondary Vocational Education Project (SVEP)
Ministry of Education

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Bahrain is one of the most diversified economies in the Arabian Gulf with ethnic groups consisting of 46% Bahraini, and 54% expatriates. Highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. Being one of the region’s pioneering nations; the country embraced the Economic Vision 2030 that focuses on shaping the vision of the government, society and the economy, based around three guiding principles; sustainability, fairness and competitiveness. Reform in Education system is a part of the Economic Vision, this aims to support the nation’s vision of being truly great with one of the most vibrant economies in the world and where its businesses, citizens and society can thrive. However, the country is facing a shortage in quality employment and appropriate skills. There appears to be a gap between the existing skills requirements in both the Bahrain Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) system and the industrial companies. Bahrain needs to ensure that its citizens can perform roles across all occupational levels, industry sectors and to develop strong technical skills as well as ability to work within today’s knowledge economy. The modern industries have required employability skills of the graduating students which was not available in the TVE engineering education courses, meaning that the TVE system was unable to satisfy the marketplace requirements. The challenges come from the discrepancy between the School Based Learning (SBL) curriculum and modern industrial skills requirements. Students may be trained on obsolete equipment which is totally different from that in the modern industrial environment. The Secondary education level in Bahrain is designed to prepare students to enter universities and higher institutions or directly enter the labor market. It accommodates students of age group 15 - 17; the duration of study is three years. The specific initiative relating to Secondary Vocational Education Project (SVEP) was based on the diagnostic outlined in the report Bahrain’s Education Reform (October 2006)1. This report revealed that: • Only 12% of technical school graduates entered the labor market directly after graduation • Only 4% obtained work in their field of study. • 50% of private sector companies claimed that there was a gap between the needs of the labor market and the skills that graduates acquired during their studies. The SVEP reform initiative had to produce a system that is driven by the skill needs of the private sector and the labor market priorities of the Bahrain economy. Also to develop a vibrant vocational education sector, that maximizes employment opportunities for students on graduation, required leadership, support and engagement with private enterprise. Finally students in secondary schools needed appropriate information and experiences that introduced them to a broad range of future occupations so they can progressively make the right choices as they move on to employment or further study. The new structure should give the all the graduate the opportunity to continue their further study or to join the labor market, specially the technical school graduate as they faced difficulty if they want to obtain higher certificate.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In 2007, Bahrain MOE, under the leadership of HRH, The Crown Prince – Chairman of Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), launched SVEP. This solution was proposed by EDB in conjunction with Victorian Department of Education and Holmesglen Institute of Technical and Further Education (TAFE), with the aim of reducing the gap between the existing skills requirements in both the Bahrain TVE system and the industrial companies. The SVEP was implemented to facilitate this process; particularly in relation to student and enterprise partnerships and school to enterprise partnerships. Because of Bahrain’s unique labor market characteristics and challenges this model had to be customized to suit the needs of Bahrain. There are a range of definitions for an apprenticeship ranging from “learning by practical experience under skilled workers” to more formal and complex “legally-binding training arrangement between an employer and an apprentice that combines structured training with paid employment”. It was recommended that the “Bahraini SVEP” adopt the former as an initial guideline with the possibility of moving to a more complex model in the future. The proposal to establish apprenticeship system within the county’s secondary vocational education was part of a long-term strategic vision by the Bahrain Government to implement educational reform that meets the challenges of meaningful employment and/or training for its citizens. For private enterprise to become an active partner required an effective private enterprise engagement model which brings schools, teachers, students together with enterprises so that students can experience real life work experiences. SVEP objectives included: 1. Integrating School-Based-Learning (SBL) and Work-Based Learning (WBL) • The curriculum developed to meet the needs of the Bahraini work place environment is a learner centered, industry connected curriculum developed to build relationships between students and industry. The program across Technical and commercial schools is equity orientated, supporting participation of women. • To produce a system that is driven by the skill needs of the private sector and the labor market priorities of the Bahrain economy. • To provide students with the skills that industry needs, introducing the use of apprenticeships and experience in the workplace as part of student’s education. • To provide opportunities for a student to participate in paid work experience. 2. Ensuring effective program design • To provide a planned program of occupational skills development and work practice for students. • To integrates academic and vocational curricula. • To extend the range of courses so that the educational and career aspirations of all students, whether male or female, could be met. • To teach foundation skills, such as positive work attitudes and interpersonal skills 3. Promoting career pathway • To assist the student in career exploration and selection of a career focus. • To incorporate articulation arrangements with institutes of higher learning. • To establish two tracks focused on apprenticeships for secondary education, a professional track and a vocational track based on the proposed diagnostic, students can now choose appropriate careers. The reform seeks to position students to compete more effectively as they enter the market place by equipping them with appropriate level of skills required by private enterprise. The SVEP will also focus on broader vocational learning to be part of a suite of programs, including career and enterprise education programs, designed to make school curricula more relevant to students’ future working lives and to make stronger links between school and community. SVEP ensured that students have the best opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to operate effectively in the work place, either as a full employee or as a student undertaking an on-the-job (OTJ) placement. This initiative has provided opportunity for all students to make smart choice between the work life and the academic life.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
SVEP responded effectively to the challenges and boost innovation to achieve its primary objective of providing the students the best opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and attitudes required to operate effectively in the workplace. • Student centered Learning approach. Project-Based-Learning (PBL) was adopted in the classrooms/Laboratories and workshops encouraging creativity in teachers and an enjoyable learning experience for students. • Imparting Curriculum based on Industry/Labor market needs through participation of Industry in choosing relevant contextual Occupational Standards (OSs). • Formation of Occupational Standards Review (OSR) Committee with representatives from Industry, Ministries, Curriculum department & Teachers to choose, review and update OSs to be delivered in schools. • Allocation of 60% credit for practical, 40% theoretical in curriculum to develop employability skills, vocational-specific skills, and knowledge/work ethics required in workplaces. • Integrating Information Technology (IT) in teaching/learning process to ensure graduates acquire IT competencies required by industry. • Choice of two tracks in third year aimed towards either labor market or universities/higher education. • Introduction of Technical Specializations (Computer Hardware) for girls in secondary schools. • Structured-Workplace-Learning (SWL) for female students in Second year and Third year. • Introduction of Careers and Personal Development (CPD) in the curriculum. • Issue of Skills Passports indicating acquired skills by graduates, to prospective employers.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The project has examined research provided by key agencies such as Ministry of Education (MoE), EDB and Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), also undertook stakeholder forums and multiple enterprises providing input recommendations for the SVEP model. The action plan: o Diagnostic phase (2006 - 2007) o The diagnostic revealed multiple opportunities to improve output from the education system such as: • Achievement levels in core subjects to be improved across all levels of the system. • Only 12% of technical school graduates enter labor market directly after graduation, and only 4% obtain work in their field of study. • 50% of private sector companies claim that there is gap between the needs of the labor market and the skills graduates acquire during their studies. • 50% of students at the University of Bahrain (UOB) in their first two years are failing. • More options required to allow students to study courses that match needs of the labor market. o Determining the reform initiatives and the implementation plan (2007-2008) o Formation of Advisory group: • Responsible for managing and overseeing the project • Assisted the working teams in resolving any obstacles • Discussed the recommendations and took major decisions • Developed the initiatives and the implementation plans • Consulted the stakeholders on the initiatives and the implementation plans o Begin implementation (2006-2008) o Pilot Implementation • A pilot group of teachers formed and necessary Induction Programme provided along with travel to Melbourne, Australia, for an intensive training program. o Curriculum Framework • Developed a curriculum based on framework for identified industry sectors for foundation year, years 2 and 3. Report on appropriate industry sector OSs development for Individual Pathways Plan was developed and Career Guidance program developed and delivered. o Apprenticeship System • Communications/marketing campaign conducted to attract students from the Intermediate schools to join the new vocational course. • Monitoring and Evaluation instruments developed to assess the progress of the project. • Tools for Continuous Assessment evaluation of Technical subjects were developed and implemented on the pilot groups and the version has gone through further improvements over the years and effectively used across all the schools. o Full Implementation • Industry involvement strategies developed and process established to engage the industry through appropriate governmental procedures. • Industry supervisors selected and provided the necessary Induction/training. • SWL organized for the pilot group and followed up by Industry Liaison Officers (ILOs). Girl students had the opportunity for the first time to go on SWL. Provisions were made to follow-up with them through female ILOs at workplaces. • Teachers were trained by the Australian experts to prepare trainers for future teacher training programmes. Chronology - Milestones: o 2007 • 2 Pilot groups of Apprenticeship started one each in Technical School & Commercial School leading to General Secondary Vocational Education Certificate (GSVEC). o 2008 • Replication of Project at in 2 schools. o 2009 • Replication of Project in 2 Technical and 1 Commercial school. • Development of GSVEC Vocational Specific Skills (VSS) Assessment tool for Continuous Assessment. o 2010 • Replication of Project in 2 Technical and 1 Commercial school. • Development of GSVEC Assessment Packs for all VSS Subjects. • First batch GSVEC students roll out from the system. o 2011 • Implementation of GSVEC Quality system involving a Moderation team for audit purposes in 9 Schools. • Second batch GSVEC students roll out from the system • Computer Hardware specialization opened for Girls in Commercial School. • GSVEC Quality System implemented. o 2012 • Replication of Project in 1 Commercial school. • Third batch GSVEC students roll out from the system. o 2013 • Fourth batch GSVEC students roll out from the system. o 2014 • Fifth batch GSVEC students roll out from the system. • First batch GSVEC Technical Girls Students roll out from the system.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
End users: • Secondary school students. The involvement and participation of students played an important role in various stages of the project. The response and feedback at each stage were vital for the successful implementation as it was targeted to ensure that these students achieve the expected outcomes of the project. The needs of the students were identified by: • EDB, is the main authority in the implementation of Vision 2030 in which Educational reforms was one of the objectives. • LMRA, provided MoE with the necessary data through a survey, which served as the start for the initiative. • MoE, was the host and organizer for the execution of the project in its secondary schools. MoE formed a team under a Project manager with a group of Educational Specialists to work in coordination with Ministry of Labor (MoL) in the initial surveys & the service providers to implement the project. The MoE was supported by several internal resources: • Planning and Information • Financial Resources and Services At the Schools by: • Head Master • Assistant Head Master • Teachers The Service providers: • Department of Education, Victoria (DOE) & Holmesglen Institute of TAFE (HIT) They were the service providers for the SVEP, executing the project in phases with the help of their specialists and MoE counterparts over 3 years. The project was well supported by Industry experts: • Private Sector Advisory Committee (PSAC) PSAC comprised of representatives from the Labor market extending their support in designing various policies and contributing to development of appropriate OSs for the curriculum. • OSR Committee This Committee comprised of representatives from Industry, Ministries, Curriculum department & Teachers to choose, review and update relevant OSs to be delivered in schools. • SWL Committee Representatives from industry who supported MoE in SWL work placement. • Center of Excellence (CoE) Involved with teachers training program. • Parents Provided moral support.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
One of the important initiatives implemented by EDB as part of the Economic reforms in Bahrain was Improving Secondary Vocational Education aiming to bring SVEP closer to the needs of the private sector. Hence, EDB sponsored the budget and majority of resources for the implementation of SVEP. The following resources were dedicated to the SVEP initiative: Human Resources • International Service providers. The project phase of SVEP was implemented in collaboration with DOE, Australia. This was to learn from their experience in the area of Vocational Education and Training, therefore, the knowledge gained by training 2 groups of teachers led to the effective replication of the project in other schools in a phased manner. This empowered us with required knowledge and skills and enhanced the ability to share. • Teachers for implementation of the project. Initially, the SVEP required additional human resources as the MoE had agreed to allocate pilot teachers reduced teaching loads to enable them to attend professional development programs and develop teaching/learning materials. In the replication, teachers will also have reduced teaching loads as they implement these programs for the first time. As vocational programs in schools are resource intensive this was a constraining factor throughout the life of the Project. Apart from financial costs, consideration had to be given for availability of suitably qualified and cooperative teachers, appropriate workplaces in rolling out the model across all schools. • Supervisory staff in Industries/companies during SWL. There were also financial implications for enterprises participating within the model as workplace supervision of students is labor intensive and takes critical staff away from ‘normal’ work duties. The contribution of the labor market in terms of man hours is worth mentioning. Technical Resources • Extra equipment as determined by industry standards (both Occupational and Employability) such as: - Personal Computers (Windows & Macintosh). - Laptops - Smart Boards - Active Boards - Simulation Laboratories - Multimedia Laboratories - Multimedia equipment - Electronics Trainer kits - Technical Software such as Autocad, Electrical and Electronic Drawing Software. - Multimedia software such as Adobe, Photoshop. In the long term, a slight increase (about 10 %) in recurrent funding for this project is anticipated for the "on the job" component of the program. Financial Resources • The project implementation cost was borne by the EDB as part of the Educational reforms budget. One of the major external costs being the remuneration for the Service providers. However, these costs were manageable and not recurrent as the available internal resources were effectively utilized in the later stages of the project. • The running cost of the project has been ably managed with the routine budget allocations. Return on Investment The return on investment cannot be directly assessed as the SVEP is able to produce skilled human resources for the country in the future years to come. However, it will aid the economic reforms by way of self-reliance by taking up suitable capacity building measures with the available human resources within the country, which would reduce unemployment level, and reducing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The following outputs contributed greatly in the SVEP initiative: 1. PBL. Participation of vocational students in the leaning process was enhanced due to the transformative approach from conventional learning to PBL. Students’ creativity, innovativeness and employability skills improved because of the implementation of PBL, which fostered students’ interaction with their peers, inculcated in them leadership traits and confidence. Students were provided equal opportunities and feedback on their performance at every stage through unique assessment tools. In addition, they were guided to choose appropriate pathways through CPD subjects included in the curriculum. Vocational students proved their confidence facing the workplace environment because they were given the chance for hands-on training through SWL. 2. Establishment of Industry Engagement Unit. SWL placement opportunities almost doubled through the establishment of Industry Engagement Unit (IEU) with dedicated ILOs. ILOs were instrumental in promoting the SVEP in the labor market. Employability skills of the graduates were strengthened due to inclusive follow-up while on SWL by both the Industry Supervisors and the ILOs. SWL for girls has been an exciting experience, which is an encouraging drift from the culture prevailing in this part of the world. 3. Private sector participation • The graduates were prepared for the labor market not only with skills acquired from SWL but also through the contextual curriculum contents. Contextual curriculum contents were developed with the contribution of the OSR Committee with representatives from the labor market. • Students were given opportunities of suitable On-the-job-Training placements relevant to their specializations by the assistance of SWL Committee. 4. Introduction of demand driven specializations. The students have a wider choice to choose their career pathways in the schools by the introduction of demand driven specializations such as: • Computer Hardware for Girls. • Mobile Technology. • Medical Equipment. • Plant Maintenance. • Office Equipment. • Instrumentation. • Telecommunication. Female students were enrolled into Computer Hardware specialization, introducing technical subject for the girls, a unique venture, has been getting favorable response from the female students and their parents. This is one opportunity for females to enter into an otherwise male dominated technical area providing them with equal opportunities. 5. Introduction of CPD in the curriculum. CPD contributed in enhancing the much needed employability skills in the students. CPD was imparted through relevant projects carried out by the students, which helped students in personal development and career exploration in having a better perception about their choice of careers. CPD Teachers/Coordinators have been nominated in all schools.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring and evaluation team was set up to draft Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with number of Performance Indicators (PI) and Desired Outcomes (DOC) for the SVEP. Once the KPIs and Performance Indicators were agreed, following were developed: • Source of data for each KPI. • Frequency of reporting. • Responsibility for reporting. • Detailed definition of data and accessible data for comparison to measure change. The KPIs were set with the certain PIs to monitor and evaluate the project based on the DOC as follows: KPI: Effective course content and design PIs: Ratings on the quality of the curriculum by: - Industry/Student/parents/Teachers/School management DOC: - Curriculum matches exactly private sector/industry needs. - Curriculum embraces both professional and personal needs of students for a successful future. KPI: Effective industry partnerships PIs: - Number and type of companies in active contact with the pilot schools - Level of employer satisfaction with the apprentices during the work placement - Employment outcomes for pilot students DOC: - Enough companies are actively involved in the pilots and more companies want to join. - All students find suitable work placement in their field of interest. - Employers are very satisfied and willing to take more students. KPI: Improved teaching PIs: - School management ratings on the quality of the teachers - Student ratings on the quality of the teachers. - Pilot students achievement compared to non-pilot students DOC: - Teacher’s competence and commitment is improved as perceived by school management, students and the teachers themselves. - Improved student performance outcomes relating to technical and employability skills. KPI: Level of sustainability PIs: - Number of counterparts undertakes SVEP training. - Number of new counterpart skills developed as a result of SVEP training. - Number of trained teachers now ready to coach other teachers. DOC: - School and MoE counterparts are prepared, capable and motivated to ensure the reforms continue when the project concludes. - Most teachers have been trained across school to ensure a smooth extension of the pilot. KPI: Recognition and impact of pilots. PIs: - Number of people knowing about the pilot and having positive opinion of it. - Number of “positive” articles published in the newspapers. - Number of Papers presented at International forums. - Mindset of students/parents: openness to non-University programs. DOC: - Non-pilot students, parents and employers are aware of pilot and want to be part of it. - Monthly once one positive/informative article in newspapers.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
In the implementation of projects focused at transition from SBL to WBL, it is obvious that quite a few obstacles were expected and encountered. These obstacles were overcome professionally with the unstinted support from the Project Management team, EDB and the school management. o Initial refutation by Teachers and Head of sections to the new approach in teaching. - Familiarization sessions on SVEP held for Teachers, Head of sections and Head Masters, Assistant Head Masters to give them awareness and inculcate a sense of belongingness. - Special sessions on Project based learning conducted for teachers. o Lack of initial support for the reforms from wider MoE stakeholders, and community. - Communications strategy developed to ensure high quality communication with all the stakeholders especially MoE, schools, teachers, parents and students. o The private sector needs to embrace a model of apprenticeship for the upper secondary in order for the reforms to be fully implemented. - On the job pilot implemented. PSAC established to ensure effective communication strategies and consultation with private sector. Developed well supported strategies to engage private sector. o Project board, PMO and government decision making with regard to the strategies for engaging the private sector in supporting apprenticeships. - Governance, management and change control structure introduced. - Used PMO project management tools to monitor agreed decision-making timelines and escalate any decision-making issues early to respective partner. o Teachers are mostly expatriates who do not stay long in the schools and have mixed commitments. Bahraini teachers are attracted to higher private sector wages. - Strategy being developed to employ part time teachers. - Introduced incentives to retain teachers. Explored possibility of employing industry specialists as part time teachers. o Delay in developing Occupational Standards (OS). - 3 years of curriculum including OSs developed. - Developed a complete course document.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Answer: Bahrain has moved towards a new education system which is more flexible as the student can obtain one of the provided tracks at the secondary level namely Unified Track or Vocational Track. The students who select the Unified Track can obtain one of the following divisions: Science, Literary and Commercial .The students who select the Vocational Education established through SVEP obtain either Technical stream or Commercial stream that is further divided into Specialized or Advanced to obtain the General Secondary Vocational Education Certificate (GSVEC). This new structure gives graduates the opportunity to continue their further study in the Higher Educational institutes, Universities, Polytechnic or to join the labor market. Especially this has benefitted the technical school graduates as they faced difficulty in the past, to obtain higher certificates. This also benefits those of the students who wish to secure financial stability by taking up employment initially and later on pursue their aspirations of obtaining higher education. Implementing the SVEP had quite a few notable benefits the impact of this initiative was measured through relevant stakeholders’ surveys reflected results which were as follows: Smart & appropriate choice of career pathways. The SVEP has been a boon for the students who find it difficult and are unsure about their career choice soon after their Intermediate school studies. The students get the opportunity to have an orientation of several areas of specializations before deciding their major specialization. This exposure during the orientation would enable the students to make the right choice of specialization based on their aptitude. Added to this, necessary career guidance is also provided at each phase for the students to make the most appropriate choice of their career path. This initiative has increased the inflow of students to vocational track multiple folds in the past two years a shift in students preferring vocational track in place of unified track, from 19% to 21%. Wider choice of career pathways. The vocational courses are well designed for 3 years in a phased manner to provide an exposure to the vocational courses from foundational aspects to advanced levels. Unlike in the past where there were limited options, the implementation of SVEP, the students have a wide choice of specializations. The Curriculum is so designed to give the students an orientation (taste) of all the major specializations in the foundation year which enables them to make an initial choice at early stages. The students who opt Technical stream can choose one of the following specializations: o Automotive o Machine Shop o Welding & Fabrication o Electrical Wiring o Electrical Machines o Electronics o Computer Maintenance & Networking o Mobile Technology o Plant Maintenance o Medical Equipment o Instrumentation The students who opt Commercial stream can choose one of the following specializations: o Business o Multimedia o Financial Services o Retail o Advanced Commercial Use of state of art technology in teaching Sufficient financial support was provided by the MOE to equip the schools with the necessary infrastructure required such as IT supports, simulation laboratories, smart boards, resources required for implementing various vocational projects. All the 10 vocational schools have been equipped with the necessary infrastructure and thus learning has become an enjoyable experience for the vocational students which are evident from the improvement in the attendance of students across schools. Increased number of SWL opportunities. SVEP has had its own impact on the private sector due to the pro-labor market curriculum plan where the practical or skills content is 60% and the academics 40%. The rate of increase in the number of companies was from 33% to 100% by 2013. 6. Increased job opportunities for graduates. Employment opportunities for the vocational graduates have been gradually increasing due to improved employability skills in the students. There has been an increase in the number of the graduates going to labor market in the last two years. 7. Increase in the number of graduates going to Universities. Vocational graduates pursuing higher studies and getting admissions into the higher education institutions/universities have been on the rise due to enhanced core skills imparted to the students through the advanced track curricula. There has been a considerable increase in the number of graduates joining Universities in the last two years.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The Project of this stature aimed at aiding Education reforms has been successful as is evident from the successful expansion of SVEP to 10 schools so far and it is worth mentioning that Technical specializations have been introduced in girls’ schools for the first time in the country. Financial sustainability o Running cost of the project is not substantial were met by internal resources. o Initially the project was financed by the EDB and once the project was rolled on in full scale, the regularly allocated budget for schools has been sufficient for the sustenance of the project. o Sufficient financial support is being provided by the Ministry to equip the schools with the necessary infrastructure. (IT supports, simulation laboratories, Smart boards). o Uniforms, safety shoes, transport and allowances along with Insurance coverage are provided for the students on SWL. Social sustainability o General awareness about the scheme of study is disseminated to general public, prospective parents through the media News, Radio/TV. o Induction programmes are conducted for students and parents to give an insight into the vocational courses in the school. o Society continues to accept the project based on the experience of graduates who have been able to join the universities and labor market. Economic sustainability Teachers trained under International experts are able to train other teachers locally: o Train the Trainer programmes were held to ensure dissemination of the pedagogic concepts and procedures from the pilot teachers to other teachers. o Teachers Training programmes are held regularly to train the teachers in the new approach of PBL. Through this approach, substantial economic sustainability has been achieved in terms of conducting In-house training. Cultural sustainability o Equal opportunities for female students to choose technical specialization like Computer Hardware. o Female students going on SWL to various industries/companies are given an Induction Programme along with their parents. o Vocational exhibition was organized showcasing various interesting projects accomplished by the vocational students to the public. This gave the general public an idea of how the girls can effectively contribute in vocational areas. Institutional sustainability o Awareness programmes are conducted in Intermediate schools (Inputs) regularly to attract students to vocational careers. o Visits arranged for Intermediate school students to Vocational schools to give them exposure to various specializations and career pathways. o Career Guidance counselors are nominated in all schools to guide students in choosing appropriate pathways. o Negotiations with higher Educational Institutions to ensure pathways for the graduate students pursuing higher educations. Regulatory sustainability o OSR committee & SWL committee have been formed permanently through the decree from H.E the Minister of Education, to support the SVEP. o Quality Assurance system has been effectively implemented in all the schools and Quality Coordinators nominated, internal audit/verification systems in place. o ILOs nominated to follow-up the students during SWL to enhance the workplace learning process. SVEP has been successfully replicated in 10 schools so far. Project of this nature easy yet affordable provided the internal resources within the country is utilized efficiently.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Overall experience has been quite demanding, exciting but in the end worthwhile. o The shift from Teacher-centered-Learning to Student-centered-Learning was quite successful in enhancing the student’s learning process. o Students are more motivated in learning the concepts as they execute projects. o Industrial exposure in the second year is having its own impact on students in terms of little improvement in their behaviors and greater focus towards their specializations. o Teachers who were used to conventional approaches of teaching took some time to accept the new system of teaching but eventually have adapted to it successfully. o The teachers have better sense of quality consciousness due to routine internal audits. Lessons were learnt at every stage of implementation of the project. Some of them are: o Transition of pedagogic approaches of the teachers from Teacher centered to Student centered approach. Experienced teachers who were used to old conventional method of teaching find it difficult to adapt to the new concept and naturally resist and eventually caused initial hitches in the implementation. o Limitation to train the teachers on the new concepts and approaches relevant to the project. Reasons being the timing of programme since the teachers had to be relieved from their teaching sessions to attend the training and lack of sufficient number of experienced Trainers. o Limitations of SWL opportunities. Bahrain being a small country has limited number of industries/companies. In addition to our schools, students from various other educational institutions also are placed on the job training in these industries/companies. This causes inconvenience to our IEU in finding appropriate placements for our students in the industry. o Teachers unaware about the way of delivery of OS in PBL. Teachers were unable to comprehend the OS properly resulting implementation of few inconsistent projects across the schools initially. o Inability to achieve total the actual demand of the labor market. There is bound to be a mismatch between the specialization choice of the students and the existing demand in the labor market. This limits the system from being demand driven as is ideally required for any country in general. Recommendations for future: o Stage wise implementation of the project. It is preferable to start the project on a small scale within one school in stages to cover the entire population of the school over 3 years. This will ensure that all the necessary efforts are focused at one point and thus will be effective, efficient and as the financial logistics demand are manageable. o Opening of specializations based on labor market demand. Ideally, it is suggested that schools should open only those of the specializations based on the anticipated demand of the labor market and locally available resources.. o Training of Teachers The teachers have to be deputed for training fulltime in the respective specialization areas within the school as well as in industries before they commence teaching. This helps them to better comprehend the OS and correlate them effectively while teaching vocational subjects in schools though appropriate PBL techniques.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ministry of Education
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Dr Mohamed Al Seddiqi
Title:   Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   +973 39741174
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   P.O.Box 336, Manama
Postal Code:  
City:   isa town

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