Date: October 30, 2023
The Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) issued a new study titled, “Development of Formal Education in Bahrain during the Second World War (1939-1945)”. The study, authored by Dr. Hamad Ebrahim Al-Abdulla, Executive Director of Derasat, sheds light on the significant advancements made in the field of formal education in Bahrain during a challenging period in history.
The study delves into the developmental process undertaken by the Government of Bahrain in the domain of formal education for boys’ schools during the Second World War era. Dr. Al-Abdulla explores the pivotal role played by notable figures such as Sheikh Abdulla bin Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa, C.R.L. Adrian-Vallance and F.J. Wakelin in shaping Bahrain’s educational system. The study highlights the main challenges faced during this period and the steps taken to enhance the educational system, including the introduction of secondary school learning.
The latest study examined primary sources such as documents from the India Office Records, the Government of Bahrain’s Annual Reports, and newspaper articles from Jaridat Al-Bahrain (1939-1944), providing an in-depth analysis of the historical context. The study also draws upon memoirs and diaries of various personalities involved in the educational process during that era.
Dr. Al-Abdulla, noted that this study aims to shed light on a crucial period in Bahrain’s educational history and highlights the progressive measures undertaken during the Second World War. It underscores the significance of education as a catalyst for societal development and the role played by various stakeholders in shaping the educational landscape of Bahrain.
The study reveals that the Government of Bahrain, under the leadership of Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa (1932 – 1942), had a strong commitment to improving and expanding the educational system. It recognized the need for a comprehensive educational foundation and sought the expertise of C.R.L. Adrian-Vallance, a British expert employed in Iraq, to inspect Bahrain’s educational institutions and provide recommendations for further improvement.
One of the key findings of the study is the emphasis placed on students’ values of citizenship. Recommendations at the time included the introduction of a course specializing in nationalism, the display of Bahraini flags and pictures of Bahrain’s leadership in schools, and the incorporation of Bahrain’s history into the curriculum. These measures aimed to foster national pride among Bahraini students.
Furthermore, the study highlights Adrian-Vallance’s ambitious proposal to establish a college in Bahrain, which eventually led to the founding of Al-Hidayah Al-Khalifiyah Secondary School of Manama. This institution marked a significant milestone in Bahrain’s educational landscape, offering secondary school education and paving the way for further advancements in the years to come.