The Launch of the Bahrain Qualifications Framework
• It gives me great pleasure to be with you all today at the start of a journey that is nothing short of momentous. The launch of Bahrain’s Qualifications Framework project represents our engagement of our future, (pause here) our staking of a claim to a prosperous tomorrow by putting in place the building blocks of top-quality education and training today.
• The Bahrain Qualifications Framework - a project that represents the collaborated efforts of key ministries & agencies, both governmental and private, is yet another initiative from the Education Reform Board. The core goal of this initiative -- which will set the standards for educational and training institutions in the Kingdom -- is to contribute in setting a coherent, transparent and integrated qualifications system that will empower Bahrainis with the knowledge to design a prosperous future for themselves and the Kingdom.
• We at Tamkeen, are honoured to play an active role in this vital and sensitive design phase of such a forward-thinking project. It ties in with our role as facilitators of change in the Kingdom. Tamkeen is charged with monitoring the needs of the labour market from the perspective of employers and employees and providing training and support so that they flourish.
• That is why we invested in the most comprehensive Skills Gaps survey last year so that we could create a road map for the future. And the Bahrain Qualifications Framework project is the engine that will set our train on the tracks along this road map.
• The National Education Reform initiative has already started the work of re-wiring our educational system to meet the challenges of the Knowledge era before us. This is part of the far-sighted Vision 2030 development matrix drawn up by our leadership which seeks to prepare Bahrain for the future.
• Just like the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the Knowledge Revolution will raise the bar on the productivity of men and women globally and education is our key to attaining the best productivity levels and the highest levels of satisfaction from our work and from our achievements in life through Knowledge.
• Today, the need of the hour is to create a set of key standards for our knowledge delivery systems -- our schools and our training institutes -- so that we can produce a learner-centred framework that will relate all education and training qualifications in Bahrain to each other. These standards will define the outcomes to be achieved by learners seeking to gain a qualification at each level. The Bahraini Qualifications Framework will ensure the relevance of qualifications to the changes in demand within the labour market.
• The most important value-addition of this move will be that it will create a more relevant and sustainable Bahraini workforce by developing both horizontal and vertical learning pathways. Bahrainis will not only find it easier to access qualifications but also enhance their professional and vocational skills for improving their personal career path.
• The new system produced by its implementation is also a golden opportunity for those who did not complete mainstream learning as it opens up pathways for adult learning and acquisition of new vocational skills.
• For employers this will translate to recruitment of productive employees as the Framework will provide only qualifications that fit the national quality and efficacy requirements.
• Therefore, it is time we adopt a Bahraini Qualifications Framework to aid our country and people in overriding current and future challenges. The Bahrain Qualifications Framework project aims at allowing the benefits of knowledge updating to reach every Bahraini. Whether we are talking about school or college students, or someone thinking of returning to learning, applying for a job, or considering taking their education and training to the next stage, it will be easier for everyone – learners, employers and providers – to understand a “national qualifications system”. It will provide a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality assured and recognised in Bahrain and abroad.
• This gathering illustrates an opportunity to integrate with the project members as well as a distinguished international speaker to share knowledge and experience in setting National Qualifications Frameworks. But we are also here today, to extensively discuss the initiation of the project and way forward in order to benefit from such an open speech platform.
• We know what we want to achieve: to carve an international position with the Bahrain Qualifications Framework that facilitates the transfer and use of qualifications across levels which are understood and valued by all – and more importantly, understood by other countries thus placing our Kingdom’s talents and competencies on the map of the world.
• We all agree that utmost efforts must be exerted to meet our objectives since it will NOT be a painless journey of change …but I am hopeful …… since the past meetings and initial work conducted by the working groups, shows the sincere willingness to make the Bahrain Qualifications framework a reality.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that the ideas we are sharing today will make a difference for our youth, schools, economy, businesses, families and the whole nation of Bahrain. Together, I am sure we can establish the required systems and processes based on transparency, fairness and clarity.
In this regard, I am pleased to extend my thanks to the speakers of today. I would also like to thank all the entities and ministries that are taking part in the Bahrain Qualifications Framework. My special thanks go to:
The Economic Development Board, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education, the Higher Education Council and the Quality Assurance Authority, ….and all other entities that are participating in the working groups.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this note, I wish you all the best in commencing the project and a wonderful forum of discussion today. For our distinguished guest visiting from overseas, I wish you a comfortable stay in the Kingdom of Bahrain.