The Education and Training Quality Authority (BQA) is an independent entity that carries out its mandate with the guidance of its Board of Directors. It reports to the Cabinet. The Authority was established as part of the National Education Reform Project, a pioneering initiative of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. The main aim of the Education Reform Project is to fundamentally improve the services provided in education and vocational training in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which will in turn ensure the professional advancement of Bahrain’s human capital.
Since 2008 the Authority has embarked on a number of quality assurance activities, including setting performance standards and carrying out objective reviews of all education and training institutions licensed to operate in the Kingdom. In order to gain information on the standards of performance of students, classes and schools, and to evaluate students’ learning progress against the national curriculum, National Examinations in four core subjects – Arabic, English, Mathematics and Science, for grades 3, 6, 9 – as well as National Examinations in Arabic, English and problem-solving for grade 12, have been conducted in all government schools, plus a few private schools on a voluntary basis.
The external reviews and their findings, which mainly highlight institutions’ strengths and areas for development, help organisations to improve through the enhancement of a self-evaluation culture and dissemination of best practice. The reviews and National Examinations results provide a comprehensive baseline of the current education and training performance standards, paving the way toward further enhancements in the sectors to ultimately achieve the Kingdom’s vision and aspirations.
Within a relatively short period after being established, the BQA has attained a significant position in raising standards and promoting the development of the education and vocational training sectors. Consequently, the responsibilities of the authority were broadened with Royal Decree No. (83) of 2012, which extended the Authority’s mandate to include the establishment of a National Qualifications Framework. The NQF objectives are the development of the performance of the outputs of education and emphasis on their consistency and close association with the goals of the sustained improvement and development of education and training sectors, through linking the qualifications of education and training with labour market requirements to support the various development aspirations.
The leadership’s confidence has raised the influential role of the Authority to a prominent position in both sectors. Through the National Qualifications Framework, the BQA is determined to build an integrated, coherent, transparent and quality assured system for national qualifications that acknowledges the various forms of learning and meets both national and international requirements. The BQA believes that its success is a reflection of the success of all education and training stakeholders, and in order to thrive we are committed to continue building our long-term strategic partnerships locally, regionally and internationally.