In 2011, the Bahraini Ministry of Education, refused for the first time to publish the results of the university scholarships in the local newspapers and restricted the announcement of the results to students only, as each student is required to enter a password on the Ministry’s website to find out hisher results.
2011 is the year that witnessed the eruption of the February 14 uprising and a bloody crackdown campaign launched against it. This decision was also part of this campaign and part of a strategic view that clearly and directly depended on Al-Bandar report conspiracy, in an attempt to expedite all its plans that were set before 2006.
The conspiracy lasted for 5 years. The result was that thousands of students either used up all their parents’ money, were forced to leave the country, studied a major they didn’t like, were held back or completely dropped out of school! Many of them had their futures destroyed and turn into a nightmare!
In 2015, the number of the honors students, whose GPAs higher than 99% and who did not get any of their first three choices, skyrocketed. This triggered a wave of anger among people. Some of the students were only granted a 400 BD (1058$) scholarship, that does not even cover 10% of their tuition fees in any university.
Jalila Abdul Jalil Hassan, who scored the 11th place in Bahrain and the first in her school with a GPA of 99.2%, will not study medicine, although the ministry granted three of her schoolmates who scored the 11th place scholarships to study medicine in the Arabian Gulf University and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Jalila cried a lot, not because she did not expect she’d be deprived of the scholarship, but because she is the second case in her family. Two years ago, her sister was also deprived of a medicine scholarship and her parents were forced to pay for her education. Jalila’s parents do not afford paying her tuitions too. This even intensifies the oppression this family is suffering from.
Zeinab Al- Sayed Mohammad Mahdi, who shares the same 17th rank on the honors list with top-ranking student Fatima Mohammad Ali, whom Bahrain Mirror published a story about her in a detailed report, was also not granted a medicine scholarship.
Mustafa, Mohammad Ali Radi’s son, one of the Bahrain 13 figures, turned himself in to the police with his head held high and holding his honor degree certificate to serve what was left of (the retaliatory) prison term after he was convicted of “assembly” and sentenced to 3 months in prison. Mustafa chose to go to jail during the past month of Ramadan to keep what was left of his hope of pursuing his university studies.
Mustafa who has a GPA of 98.8% and who was nominated for the Crown Prince scholarship was oppressed twice: first, when he went to prison holding his honor degree certificate and the other time was when the ministry prevented him from studying his first choice (medicine) although he occupied the 7th rank among male students in Bahrain, although the ministry allocated 11 medicine scholarships to students of Public schools for boys.
This; however, was not limited to public schools, for two of the top-ranking students in private schools with 99.9% GPAs were not granted their first preference: a medicine scholarship.
Despite the GPAs, vacancies and educational standards that prove that these students deserve medicine scholarships, three students of 94%, 93% and 90% GPAs were granted medicine scholarships.
A student of a 97.7% rank did not have her wish to study engineering, while her schoolmate who scored 94% was given the same engineering scholarship that was not listed as her first choice.
A survey conducted by an independent party stressed that 77% of Shiite students whose GPAs exceed 95% did not get their choices of scholarships.
As for one of the students who studies in the scientific field (Physics and mathematics) filled all the 12 available choices and was granted his last choice: Tourism. However, he later found out that there were still available scholarships after the distribution in the same specialties that he and hundreds of other graduates wished to study.
This year, the ministry did not announce any study abroad scholarships as well except scholarships to some Gulf States. A WikiLeaks cable has recently disclosed that Bahraini students are being sent to Gulf States, such as Saudi Arabia: the Saudi Embassy in Manama sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia stressing that the nominated student is from a prominent Sunni family.