A comparative study of the reorganisation of secondary education in the Arab States of the Gulf : Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
Asynchronous changes in the rapidly transforming socio-economic conditions in the Arab State of the Arabian Persian Gulf after the discovery of oil and their relative slow moving systems of education have led to a failure to or an inadequate response especially of their secondary education to meet the present-day and future needs and aspirations of their young people. This is a 'problem' in education which needs to be investigated in a comparative context in order to study different policy formulations and solutions, attempted by different states in the region to a common problem. It has been realised by the educational planners of the three states in this study namely, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, that a reform of their prevailing general secondary schools has become extremely urgent as the majority of their secondary level students in fact attend this instead of the technical/vocational type of schools. Recent policy statements in all the three states have visualised that the introduction of a comprehensive school system would offer good all round general education as well as qualify those young people whose education is terminated at this level, with the skills and attitudes required for certain occupations which are currently manned by expatriate, contracted employees. The study follows Holmesian methodology viz. the 'Problem-Solving' approach in comparative education. It is divided into seven chapters. Chapter one attempts to define and intellectualise the 'Problem'. It also discusses the methodological considerations as applied to the research. Chapter Two attempts to study the ideal-types of comprehensive schools in the three selected countries i. e. Sweden, England and the U. S. A. where comprehensivisation and reorganisation of secondary education has been achieved with some measure 'of success. Chapter Three examines their actual functioning and organisational structures, selection procedures and curriculum organisation. Chapter Four attempts the contextual analysis of the normative and institutional patterns of the states under study to highlight the environment in which the 'problem' has arisen and the background in which its solutions have been sought. Chapter Five analyses the educational system of these three states with special focus on their secondary school systems and their curricula structure. It also highlights the changing manpower needs and the inadequacy of their traditional secondary schools to meet them. Chapter Six studies the actual introduction and functioning of the experimental comprehensive schools in these states. Finally, Chapter Seven draws conclusions from the research and puts forward some suggestions, in the light of the study, in order to help these states to overcome the existing problems of their comprehensive secondary schools to suit their particular conditions.