In a gesture of insult to the international higher education community, the Bahrain regime has chosen the anniversary of the University of Bahrain violence to complete its violation of Bahrain Polytechnic, established in 2008 when the Bahrain 2030 Vision still meant something to supply the kind of quality higher education that the criminally incompetent University of Bahrain has failed to provide for a generation.
Bahrain Polytechnic has been under assault by the regime for over a year, because the regime fears real higher education: informed, empowered students graduate to become informed, empowered citizens who demand rights, freedom, accountability and democracy.
The regime prefers institutions like the University of Bahrain, which are designed to churn out “disciplined subjects” rather than active citizens, using approach to management, learning and the individual that have more in common with a prison or the army than real higher education.
The Bahrain regime’s English language propaganda sheet the Gulf Daily News gives the official account of what’s being done to the Bahrain Polytechnic:
So-called Education Minister Al Noaimi uses financial impropriety as his excuse to attack the Polytechnic, bizarrely arguing that BP’s incorporation into the Bahrain civil service and University of Bahrain systems would be a solution to these supposed irregularities. Anyone who has ever had any dealings with the UoB and the Bahrain civil service knows the truth about the financial propriety of these institutions.
As for Noaimi, an ex-army “safe pair of hands” with a very limited grasp of what education is, read what the Academic Freedom Committee of the Middle East Studies Association has had to say about him:
What we are seeing with Bahrain Polytechnic is the rape and pillage of a fine higher education institution, they are treating the Poly the same way they treat Bahrain’s villages. The regime might as well get jeep-loads of white-helmeted goons to spray the Poly full of tear gas.
The following article is from the UK’s Times Higher Education Supplement, written on 6th February 2011, when the Bahrain Polytechnic was still a leading reform institution offering world-class higher education, at that time BP was the only institution offering such quality education in Bahrain (BTC had already been undermined by then):
This is what Bahrain Polytechnic was all about:
“. . .teaching a raft of capabilities that apply to successful engagement with work and life, regardless of specialisation”. . .a problem-based approach that puts the emphasis not on steadily accumulating large bodies of knowledge, but on developing students’ initiative and their problem-solving and teamwork skills in course areas such as engineering, business, logistics, design, web media and office management. . . .”
This is the real reason for the rape of Bahrain Polytechnic: the Bahrain dictatorship simply has no time for a higher education system that develops students initiative and ability to solve problems, lest they dare take the initiative to solve Bahrain’s biggest problem of all, its dictatorship.
Make your own mind up, which account of Bahrain Polytechnic do you trust, that of the Gulf Daily news, 14th March 2012, or that of the Times Higher Education Supplement, 6th February 2011?
The rape of Bahrain Polytechnic provides yet more evidence — as if more were needed — as to why no respectable international higher education institution, professional body, or accreditation agency should have nothing whatsoever to do with Bahrain until fundamental social and political change has happened there.