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Bahrain to instal CCTV in govt schools

Manama, December 21, 2011

CCTV will be installed at all government schools in Bahrain to combat acts of sabotage and vandalism, said a senior government official

Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi told MPs that deliberate attacks were taking place despite round-the-clock presence of security guards.

It follows a series of arson attacks on government schools, which the minister said was harming education of Bahraini children.

'We have had a lot of sabotage and vandalism happening in schools and even Molotov cocktails thrown at students as they stood in the morning for the national anthem,' revealed Dr Al Nuaimi.

'Those incidents began in 2006 and until 2010 we have seen 36 sabotage and vandalism cases, some of which were not announced as we didn't want parents to panic or education to be disrupted. During the unrest, 14 attack cases happened and we had to quickly fix things damaged to ensure that the educational facility continued doing its work.'

The minister was responding to a question by MP Abdulla Bin Howail on vandalism and sabotage in schools.

Dr Al Nuaimi said large amounts of money were being spent on repairing damaged equipment, which could otherwise be used to construct new facilities and launch new programmes.

'We are now planning to spend huge sums to install CCTV across government schools,' he said.

'This is also unnecessary spending that could have gone elsewhere if not for those actions (of vandals). The ministry just thinks about providing a safe environment for education and for students to enjoy facilities and not come the next day to see that their favourite PC has been burnt.'

Meanwhile, Dr Al Nuaimi said that new schools would not use portable cabins for teaching from 2014.

'Portable cabins are being installed to accommodate numbers because parents don't want their children in schools far away from home,' he said. 'Currently we have plans to remove those cabins from schools after being granted permission from the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry to build up to five storeys and the Works Ministry is currently preparing designs to incorporate this vertical increase.'

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Dr Jameel Humaidan told MPs that problems associated with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) were being urgently addressed since he had taken over the reins.

'There are problems and possible recommendations from parliament and they are being taken into consideration as we rapidly solve ongoing problems related to employment, over-pay and discipline,' he said.

Meanwhile, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Nabeel Abu Al Fateh told MPs that 10 pieces of land could be earmarked for public parks in Manama and Muharraq.

'We have already purchased one plot in Muharraq and we are evaluating nine others, which we are planning to purchase soon,' he said.

Works Ministry assistant under-secretary for roads affairs Huda Fakhro said that 13,000 public parks had been constructed by the ministry with 3,300 others in the pipeline.

Housing Ministry assistant under-secretary for hyousing projects Khalid Al Amer said that strips of land adjacent to government homes across Bahrain were being left for future infrastructure projects - and not house expansions.

'The strips of land are mainly used as miniature neighbourhood parks, but could change to road expansions or for electricity installations if needed,' he said.

Health Ministry assistant under-secretary for Planning and Training Dr Hala Al Mehzaa said there were immediate plans to transfer the College of Health Sciences from the ministry to Bahrain University.

'This move is certainly a push towards developing education and exploring new fields in the medical profession,' she said.

Meanwhile, parliament gave the government the go-ahead to sign four conventions.

They include two maritime conventions with Turkey and Morocco, a taxation convention with Georgia and the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | government | Schools | CCTV | Education Minister | vandalism |

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