World TVET Database - Country Profiles


TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2015-10-26

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

Bahrain invests considerably in TVET provision to improve nationals’ skills levels, tackle unemployment and develop the country as a regional centre for training.

TVET strategy

TVET strategies are supported by Vision 2030. The Vision is a comprehensive economic plan developed in consultation with the public and private sector, academia and civil society. The Vision emphasizes the importance of education and defines education as a means to empower Bahrainis to reach their full potential and provide them with the skills, knowledge and values that they need to become employed in high-value added positions. Vision 2030 aims to develop an education system, TVET included, that provides every citizen with educational opportunities appropriate to their individual needs, aspirations and abilities. The Vision highlights the need for relevant education and training to the requirements of Bahrain and its economy, delivered to the highest possible quality standards, and accessible based on ability and merit. This Vision also aims to develop a clear strategy for raising standards and performance in vocational institutions, schools and universities.

The Education Reform of 2006, part of the Vision 2030, aims to improve education standards at every level and to equip youth with the necessary skills and capacities to succeed in the workplace. The Education Reform is a cross-agency initiative comprising of the following five objectives:

  • Developing a Bahraini National Qualifications Framework (NQF);
  • Implementing School Improvement Projects (SIP) in 31 schools, then covered all government schools;
  • Establishing the National Authority for Qualifications ad Quality Assurance of Education and Training (QQA);
  • Establishing the Bahrain Polytechnic; and
  • Establishing the Bahrain Teachers College.
TVET legislation

  • The Royal Decree No. 32 of 2008 and the Royal Decree No. 6 of 2009 have established and amended the National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training (QQA) respectively.
  • The Higher Education Law No. 3 of 2005 has established the Higher Education Council. The Council has developed by-laws for the management and standards of private higher education institutions and a by-law for the organization of its own session meeting;
  • The Constitution of 2002 (Article 7) guarantees the right to education and other cultural services. Education is free of charge and compulsory at the basic level, and should develop student’s personality and pride of Arabism. Free and compulsory basic education is assured in the Education Law No. 27 of 2005.
  • The Private Education and Training Institutions Law (1998) outlines requirements for the establishment of private education and training institutions. It defines the objectives of private education and training and stipulates its types and divisions, as well as its management structure.

  • Kingdom of Bahrain (2012). Education Reform. Bahrain Vision 2030. Accessed: 10 September 2014.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Bahrain. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Bahrain. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

Upon completing six years of primary education, students proceed to an intermediate education which completes nine years of basic education. Students can continue to a secondary education which completes 12 years of schooling. Specifically at the secondary education level students choose between the following tracks: (1) Unified; (2) GSVEC (technical & commercial); (3) vocational training (boys only); and (4) textile and clothing (girls only). Students are able to change tracks, if courses are common to more than one specialization.

Formal TVET system

Two types of TVET programmes are offered at the secondary education level. The Vocational Training (currently for boys) is offered in technical schools in some specializations and the majority of students are dropouts of basic education. The Vocational Training Programme lasts two years only. The second type, the GSVEC, is open to those who obtained the Intermediate School Certificate or an equivalent qualification. GSVEC is offered in two tracks; technical and commercial and lasts three years. It helps prepare students for tertiary education or the labour market. GSVEC Programmes are developed according to a credit hour system. Credit hours are divided into four groups of courses:

  • Core Courses ensure that all students follow a certain amount of general knowledge studies. They cover information, skills and attitudes that help students to continue their study and personal learning goals. The percentage of core courses in the unified track is 45%, in GSVEC programmes 25%.
  • Specialized Courses are mandatory courses that form part of a student’s chosen specialization. They account for 39% of unified curricula and 69% of GSVEC curricula.
  • Elective Specialized Courses (supportive) aim to provide thorough knowledge in a specialized field. The percentage of these courses out of all study requirements is 8% of general and commercial tracks, and around 6% for GSVEC curricula.
  • Free Elective Courses aim to enrich the curriculum, satisfy students' interests and talents, and achieve a balance and integration between all other core and specialized courses. The percentage of these courses out of all study requirements is 8% for unified and around 1% for GSVEC (commercial track only).
In order to complete secondary education students are required to obtain 156 credit hours, and 204 credit hours for the GSVEC programme.

TVET programmes at the tertiary education level are available at universities, colleges and higher institutes for students who have completed secondary education. Specifically the Bahrain Polytechnic offers undergraduate programmes in: business, engineering technology, information and communications technology, and visual design. Programmes normally last eight semesters.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

The Directorate of Continuous Education in cooperation with many agencies such as the Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education organizes a variety of lifelong learning and adult education programmes including specialized short courses that cover auto mechanic skills, maintenance of electrical appliances, book classification, silk, library management and services, computer maintenance, the internet, e-commerce, computer literacy, Arabic language and maths.

In addition, the Bahrain Training Institute (BTI) provides short- and long-term programmes in, amongst others, business, engineering, and electrical work. The BTI also deals with applications for the recognition and accreditation of prior learning.


  • Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain (2014). Bahrain’s Education System. Accessed: 10 September 2014.
  • Ministry of Education (2014). Non-formal Education. Accessed : 11 September 2014.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Bahrain. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    3. Governance and financing


The Ministry of Education (MOE) is the main body in charge of public education in Bahrain. The MOE is responsible for drawing up, implementing and evaluating education polices, directing and supervising its departments, and serving as the official authority for education in the country. Its ultimate mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of education in line with international standards as stated by law. Specifically the Undersecretary for Education and Curricula Affairs – under the MOE – is responsible for curricula and educational supervision, technical and vocational education, educational services and student activities, and private and continuous education.

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) is responsible for developing TVET qualifications and operates a number of training institutes.

Other actors involved in the governance of TVET programmes include:

  • The Education and Training Development Committee is responsible for: (1) monitoring education and training initiatives; (2) establishing an independent quality assurance authority and a TVET instructor and school administrator college; (3) developing a strategy to attract and encourage quality TVET instructors; and (4) coordinating between TVET stakeholders to ensure the provision of accurate information on TVET.
  • The Supreme Council for Vocational Training – under the MOL – is responsible for developing and monitoring training programmes in the industrial sector. Specifically the SCVT introduces policies and initiates projects to fill gaps in the labour market and provide the necessary training for Bahraini workers to grow in their careers. The Director of Technical & Vocational Education represents the MOE in the council.
  • The National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training (QQA) is an independent national body, supervised and attached to the Council of Ministers. The QQA is responsible for: (1) developing indicators, processes, mechanisms and guidelines for evaluating the quality of education and training; (2) developing and carrying out national examinations; (3) reviewing the quality of education and training institutions; (4) publishing reports on the general status of education and training in the Kingdom of Bahrain; and (5) collaborating with other assurance agencies in the region regarding matters relating to quality assurance. The Directorate of Vocational Reviews (DVR) is responsible for evaluating and reporting on the quality of vocational education and training provision, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, spreading best practice and offering policy advice to key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Education. The Directorate also works in partnership with other Directorates within the QQA when needed such as when reviewing technical schools.

In Bahrain, public sector provision of TVET services is limited. This is mainly because the number of public TVET providers is relatively small compared with the number of private TVET providers. The government established and fully equipped four technical schools and six commercial schools for TVET at the secondary level. They are all free of charge for the Bahraini youth and residents. School leavers may proceed to government TVET further education institutes such as BTI and Bahrain Polytechnic at reasonable tuition fees.


  • Webpage of the National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training. Accessed: 11 September 2014.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Bahrain. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    4. TVET teachers and trainers

TVET Teachers and trainers in Bahrain are trained in the Bahrain Centre of Excellence for Technical & Vocational Education (COE) and the Bahrain Teachers College (BTC). The COE is a section in the Directorate of TVET in the MOE, and it provides up-to-date training for all technical teachers in the GSVEC schools. Some training courses are mandatory for all technical teachers and they are all conducted in-service. The BTC is part of the University of Bahrain and was established by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2008. The BTC offers programmes, including:

  • Bachelor of Education is a four year programme designed for secondary education graduates and enables them to teach in the primary education level; and
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Education is for degree holders and is a one year programme in a specialized teachable subject. Graduates are able to teach in intermediate and secondary education levels, and can specialize in: English, Arabic, Mathematics, Science, Business, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
The BTI offers training programmes in order to develop staff and instructors for the Bahrain Training Institute.


  • Webpage of the Bahrain Teachers College. Accessed: 11 September 2014.
  • Webpage of the Bahrain Training Institute. Accessed: 11 September 2014.

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    5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Secondary vocational education

Programme Duration Qualification
Unified (Science, Commercial, Literacy) GSVEC (Technical, Commercial) 3 years Tawjahiya; (General Secondary School Certificate); Tawjahiya (Commercial); Tawjahiya (Technical)
Post-secondary vocational education

Programme Duration Qualification
Undergraduate 4 years Bachelor Degree
Further education 1-3 years National Certificate (NC)/ Higher National Certificate (HNC)/ Higher National Diploma (HND)
National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The Bahrain Qualifications Framework is a single national qualifications framework which recognizes all forms of learning, including higher education, vocational, school, and work-based qualifications. Specifically the NQF aims to promote the recognition of all qualifications and forms of learning, and allow national qualifications to be compared with international qualifications. The NQF has 10 levels, as follows:

Level Qualification
Level 10 Doctoral Degrees
Level 9 Master's Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas
Level 8 Bachelor's Degrees
Level 7 Higher Diplomas
Level 6 Diplomas
Level 5 Advanced School Graduation Qualification, Higher Certificates
Level 4 School Graduation Qualification, Certificate II
Level 3 Intermediate, Certificate I
Level 2 Access II
Level 1 Access I
Scheme extracted from Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training (2014). National Qualifications Framework.

Quality assurance

The National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training (QQA) is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance of education and training institutions in Bahrain. Specifically the Directorate of Vocational Reviews (DVR) – under the QQA – is responsible for evaluating the quality of TVET programmes and institutions. The DVR’s main objectives are to:

  • Monitor and report on the quality of TVET provision in Bahrain;
  • Identify strengths and areas for improvement;
  • Develop a culture of openness, self-regulation and continuous improvement;
  • Encourage best practices; and
  • Provide advice on how to address weaknesses; and
  • Offer policy advice to key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Education.
The DVR carries out evaluations according to a review framework which includes a set of quality assurance criteria focused on: (1) student achievement; (2) quality of teaching and training; (3) quality of programmes; (4) support and guidance for learners; and (5) effectiveness of the leadership and management. Institutions are given one of the following grades: outstanding, good, satisfactory, or inadequate.

On the basis of evaluations, institutions are required to submit an action plan to address the recommendations published in the DVR report. Institutions deemed inadequate are subjected to up to two monitoring visits, and the implementation of the actions plans are evaluated into three levels: (1) sufficient progress; (2) in progress; and (3) insufficient progress.


  • Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training (2014). Directorate of Vocational Reviews. Accessed: 10 September 2014.
  • Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training (2014). National Qualifications Framework. Accessed: 10 September 2014.

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    6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

Current policy initiatives and reforms regarding the TVET system are being directed by Vision 2030. In addition a number of projects are in place, including:

(1) The National Occupational Standards Project aims to increase the role of the private sector, encourage entrepreneurship, and lay the foundation for quality investment in training and education. The objectives of the project are to:

  • Develop 125 new National Occupational Standards (NOS) for skilled work in Bahrain;
  • Enhance the capacity development of local personnel and stakeholders;
  • Develop and revise national policies, and establish management frameworks necessary for the implementation and application of the NOS.
NOS are defined as the competencies (skills, knowledge, attitudes) individuals need in order to carry out a particular occupational roles and functions. NOS are developed in collaboration with industry and companies in Bahrain.

(2) The School Improvement Project (SIP) currently covers all government schools and aims to improve the quality of: schools performance, strategic planning, teaching and learning, self-evaluation and data collection. Importantly e-learning contributes effectively in this regard and consolidates communication between the parties involved in the teaching-learning process.


According to the National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training (QQA) Annual Report 2013, most TVET institutes have taken significant steps in: improving the provision, procedures and practices in relation to evaluating student performance and curricula; the quality of training and teaching; and the effectiveness of support provided to enhance students’ achievement. Despite this a number of TVET institutions still lack a systematic mechanism for incorporating all available information on students’ attainment and achievement into their decision-making processes. Other challenges include to:

  • Develop clear strategic goals based on key performance indicators when implementing operational planning;
  • Enhance assessment tools and improve the verification and utilization of assessment outcomes;
  • Improve teacher training programmes by developing teaching and training methods to address the needs of the students. Teaching should be based on up-to-date records regarding student’s performances, and should be based on pre-course and continuous assessment in planning; and
  • Improve the self-evaluation procedures of institutions by encouraging more critical and evidence-based evaluation, which clearly identifies areas of improvement.

  • Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain (2014). Bahrain’s Education System. Accessed: 10 September 2014.
  • High Council for Vocational Training (2013). Development of National Occupational Standards for the Kingdom of Bahrain. Presented 20 November at the 5th Arab-German Education and Vocational Training Forum in Berlin, Germany. Accessed: 10 September 2014.
  • Ministry of Education (2014). Minister’s Speech. Accessed: 10 September 2014.
  • Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training (2013). Annual Report 2013. Accessed: 10 September 2014.

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    7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)







Average yearly population growth rate 2010 - 2015

+1.84 %

For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
0.47 0.79
female male  
0.49 0.82
female male  
0.50 0.83
female male  
0.51 0.84
female male  
0.52 0.85
female male  
0.52 0.85
female male  

37.59 %

37.6 %

37.63 %

37.78 %

37.91 %

38.03 %

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions


Further reading


  • BTC - Bahrain Teachers College
  • BTI - Bahrain Training Institute
  • DVR - Directorate of Vocational Reviews
  • LLL - Lifelong learning
  • MOE - Ministry of Education
  • COE - Centre of Excellence for Technical & Vocational Education
  • MOL - Ministry of Labour
  • NOS - National Occupational Standards
  • GDQ - The General Directorate of National Qualifications Framework
  • QQA - National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training
  • SIP - School Improvement Projects
  • GSVEC - General Secondary Vocational Education Certificate

    Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
    Publication Date: 2015-10-26
    Validated by: Ministry of Education

page date 2017-05-05

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