Concern over rise in school attacks in Bahrain
Manama, June 16, 2014
Bahrain's schools have come under increased attack in recent weeks coinciding with the exam period, the Education Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
It revealed there had been 304 attacks on schools since 2011 as part of a campaign of "vandalism, assaults and terrorism," said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, it said the targeting of schools had escalated with 11 such incidents reported in the past "couple of weeks".
"There has been continuous use of Molotov cocktails, starting fires at entrances and fences of schools, and repetitive attempts to steal fire extinguishers and gas tanks," the ministry said.
"It seems the attackers are continuing in this path of vandalism without any consideration to the financial damage and the emotional effect on students, especially during their final exams period."
The ministry said attacks on schools had escalated to the illegal closing of roads leading to schools and even planting of explosive devices outside their gates.
"These attacks undermine the inherent right of students to education and sabotage the safe environments in schools," said the statement.
"The types of attacks since 2011 have varied from intrusion, theft, Molotov cocktails, fires and recently escalated to include closing roads leading to schools, locking gates of schools, using fire extinguishers and planting explosives at entrances of schools.
"Unfortunately, schools are being turned into an arena for political objectives, without regarding the children's right to education.
"This is a great tragedy and the Ministry of Education's main aim in this situation is to continue all its efforts in providing a safe and healthy environment for students, preventing violence, providing support and all requirements to try to stop these attacks in our schools."
The ministry said such attacks were taking place both during and after school hours and breached students' right to an education.
"Educational institutions are still exposed, almost daily, to vandalism, assaults and terrorism during and after school hours," it said.
"All this contradicts national and international laws that state that education is a human right that should be provided for all and also contradicts child rights laws." - TradeArabia News Service