Educational challenges in Panama

Written by Francisca Rosales

Panama is a country in Central America with a population of approximately 4.2 million people in 2020 (Puertas et al. 2023). Panama has a Human Development Index of 0.815 due to widespread socioeconomic inequality, especially among the country’s indigenous population (ibid.).

The Panamanian education system is divided into different stages: preschool; primary school; pre-secondary school and secondary school. Education is free until middle school (The Oxford Business Group 2023). Despite recent progress in children’s access to education, Panama’s educational system is still facing grave challenges, especially as the quality of the country’s education continues to lag (The Oxford Business Group 2023; UNICEF 2021). There are still great disparities in dropout rates between rural and urban areas, and the number and professional qualification of teachers remains unsatisfactory (The Oxford Business Group 2023). The state budget for education continues to be disappointing (Herrera et al. 2018). In 2020, the Panamanian government only invested 3.9 percent of its GDP in education (Trading Economics 2023). Currently 17.2% of children aged between 15 and 24 are not enrolled in education or employment, entailing that many adolescents lack access to education and to the necessary skills to find an employment (Unicef 2020).

This report highlights educational challenges that Panama is facing at the moment; namely, the lack of quality education and infrastructure, and inequalities in access to education that affect especially rural and indigenous communities. The report concludes with recommendations to improve the Panamanian educational system.

Elementary school in Boquete, Panama. Photo by Fran Hogan on Wikimedia Commons.

Quality of Education & Infrastructure

The quality of education in Panama continues to fall behind (UNESCO 2020). There are not sufficient services at schools to ensure quality education for students, especially in rural and indigenous communities (UNICEF 2021). To illustrate, approximately 30 percent of children do not have access to preschool education (UNICEF 2021). Also, educational infrastructure is deteriorating due to poor maintenance (Herrera et al. 2018). The lack of capacity to accommodate students has led to the introduction of the two-shift school day to optimize school infrastructure (The Oxford Business Group 2023). This strategy entails that one shift of students attends school during the morning, while another shift attends school in the afternoon. However, this has hampered the development of students’ basic skills. The physical infrastructure of schools in rural areas is lower than in urban schools (Unesco 2020). Rural schools face major infrastructure challenges: there is a lack of infrastructure to accommodate the local demand for school; this results in children dropping out of school or forces children to walk for long distances to access their schools. Also, compared to schools in urban centers, schools in rural areas often lack the necessary learning materials, such as textbooks and notebooks (Unesco 2020).

Moreover, the educational style remains old-fashioned, as the curriculum is still based on memorizing concepts rather than developing key competencies and developing skills important for students’ future employability (UNICEF 2021). The lack of enforcement of a bilingual curriculum and, therefore, the lack of proficiency in English has negatively affected students’ preparedness for the labor market, especially in the sector of tourism. As a response, the government implemented a Bilingual Program in 2015, to improve basic and secondary teachers’ proficiency in English (The Oxford Business Group 2023). Furthermore,  schools lack a clear approach to teaching in schools in indigenous communities, which compromises the quality of education for students with an indigenous background. In fact, many teachers teaching in schools in indigenous communities follow non-inclusive educational practices (Unesco 2020). For example, non-indigenous teachers often do not allow students to speak in indigenous languages among themselves, creating tensions in the classroom environment and the current bilingual curriculum fails to include indigenous languages (Unesco 2020). 

Inequalities in Access to Education

According to UNICEF, 3 out of 10 children are affected by multidimensional poverty in Panama (UNICEF 2022). Children living in poverty and children with an indigenous background lack access to quality services (UNICEF 2022). Although preschool education is compulsory, approximately 40 percent of children aged between 4 to 5 years do not attend preschool (UNICEF 2020). Ensuring children’s access to preschool education is essential since the level of oral language kindergarten can have a great impact on a child’s learning outcomes through primary school in reading and writing, as well as mathematics (Puertas et al. 2023). The educational system also does not reach all adolescents to the same extent: only 7 in 10 children aged between 12 and 14 years were enrolled in pre-secondary school before Covid-19, while only 5 in 10 adolescents between 15 and 17 years were enrolled in high school (UNICEF 2020). Consequently, only 35 percent of students reached the minimum proficiency levels for literacy according to the Sustainable Development Goals (UNICEF 2020). Also, 19 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls in pre-secondary schools are overaged; this fact points that unsatisfactory learning leads to school dropout, curtailing the possibility for young adults to acquire the necessary skills for future employability (UNICEF 2020). 

Inequalities greatly affect children with indigenous backgrounds, as indigenous children display lower achievement in literacy and numeracy rates. The indigenous population in Panama mostly lives in rural areas, where the supply of schools is substantially lower, compared to urban areas (Unesco 2020). To illustrate, adolescent girls from indigenous communities are more likely to be excluded from access to education and to complete secondary education and 1 in 10 children from rural areas are more likely to not be enrolled in school (UNICEF 2021; Unesco 2020).  The literacy rate for women from indigenous backgrounds between 15 and 24 years of age is 84 percent, which is lower than the national average (97 percent) (Unesco 2020). Also, schools in indigenous communities have poorer infrastructure and lower school attainment. Violence, including abandonment, or neglect, currently affects 44.5 percent of children, and indigenous girls show higher vulnerability to violence (UNICEF 2020). Children with disabilities also face exclusion in access to education as 1 in 4 children with disabilities does not attend school (UNICEF 2021).

Students’ reading performance greatly decreased after Covid especially due to inequality (Puertas et al. 2023). At the end of 2020, only 51 percent of children in primary schools and 42 percent of high school students could read proficiently (Puerta et al. 2023). A large portion of the population does not have access to internet from home or electricity. In fact, only 40 percent of households with children in public schools have internet access (Puertas et al. 2023). During the Covid lockdow, children from higher-income households could use online platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, to engage with their teachers; however, students in lower-income households often only had WhatsApp as a means of communication with their teachers. Consequently, thousands of students were at risk of dropping out of school during this period (UNICEF 2022).

Photo by Katie Chen on Unsplash.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This report highlights that the major educational challenges in Panama lie in the lack of appropriate infrastructure to ensure that students have access to quality education and social inequality that hinders students from achieving satisfactory educational outcomes. Education is an essential mechanism for development. Thus, the government of Panama must commit to expanding the current budget for education to improve schools’ physical infrastructure and quality to ensure that its population can access the necessary skills and increase its capabilities. Also, it is essential to continue investing in teachers’ capacity building to improve the quality of teaching and develop a curriculum that enables students to develop essential skills for the job market.

The government should also prioritize children from indigenous communities to close the current gap in unequal access to education. The government should invest more in schools in indigenous communities to improve learning outcomes in reading and mathematics among primary school and high school students. This is only possible through the implementation of inclusive policies that take into consideration students’ educational needs and recognize the disproportional exclusion of children with indigenous background from accessing quality education. Ensuring that students with an indigenous background have access to quality education is essential to prevent students from dropping out of school and from being further marginalized from society. 


Cubilla-Bonnetier, D., Grajales-Barrios, M., Ortega-Espinosa, A., Puertas, L. and De León Sautú, N. (2023). “Unequal literacy development and access to online education in public versus private Panamanian schools during COVID-19 pandemic”. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 8, p. 989872). Frontiers.

Herrera M, L.C., Torres-Lista, V. and Montenegro, M. (2018). Analysis of the State Budget for Education of the Republic of Panama from 1990 to 2017. International Education Studies, 11(7), pp.71-82.

Oxford Business Group. (2023). “Panama makes progress towards sustainable education growth”.,five%2Dyear%2Dold%20children 

Trading Economics. (2023). “Panama – Public Spending on Education”.,compiled%20from%20officially%20recognized%20sources 

Unesco. (2020). “Rurality and education in Panama”. 

UNICEF. (2021). “All children learn in Palama”. 

UNICEF. (2022). “Country annual report 2022: Panama”. 

UNICEF. (2020). “Country Programme document”.

Educational Challenges in Timor-Leste: A Nation Re-building its Educational System

Written by Francisca Rosales

Timor-Leste is a Southern East Asian country with a population of approximately 1 million people. It became an independent country in 2002 after being occupied by Indonesia for 24 years and after 400 years under Portuguese colonial rule (Cabral and Martin-Jones 2021). Timor-Leste is still recuperating from its violent past and faces significant challenges, as almost 42% of the population still lives below the poverty line (UNICEF 2023a). 

Due to Indonesia’s invasion and mass destruction in 1999, by 2001, 90% of the country’s schools had been destroyed, and there was a significant loss of workforce in the educational sector. Since the restoration of its independence, Timor-Leste has made significant progress in rebuilding its educational system with the help of international donors (Quinn and Buchanan 2021; UNICEF 2023a).  Education is mandatory and a constitutional right in Timor-Leste from age 6 to 14, and public school is free (UNESCO 2023; UNICEF 2019). The educational system includes two years of preschool, six years of primary school, three years of pre-secondary school, and three years of secondary education (Komatsu 2019). Approximately 86% of children are enrolled in public schools in Timor, while a small but privileged minority attends private schools, which offer a higher quality education (Soares 2023). Timor-Leste also achieved gender parity in primary and preschool education in almost all regions in the country (UNICEF 2023b). 

The current constitution of Timor-Leste recognizes Portuguese and Tetum (the most spoken language in Timor-Leste and lingua franca) as the official national languages (Ogden 2017). Portuguese and Tetum are the designated languages for the first cycle of education (from grades 1 to 4) and Portuguese is the language of instruction for secondary school (Cabral and Martin-Jones 2021). 

Nevertheless, educational challenges remain. To illustrate, school facilities are debilitated, 66% lack functioning sanitation, 40% lack drinking water and there is still an absence of child-friendly teaching methods. Additionally, education-related figures remain unsatisfactory as 37% of young people between 15 and 24 years of age remain illiterate and 70% of students from grade one do not meet the curriculum’s learning objectives (UNICEF 2023a). In fact, in 2020, 9291 children and 9986 adolescents were out of school (UNESCO 2023). According to UNICEF, only 20% of children of preschool age are enrolled in school, even though the gross enrolment rates in preschool increased by 25% in 2019 (UNICEF 2023a; UNICEF 2023b). 

Difficulties in meeting learning objectives

Despite Timor-Leste’s efforts to rebuild its educational system, girls and boys are still not reaching the learning standards for their age, especially those living in rural areas and poor urban neighborhoods. This is often due to children’s lack of preparation for school, which leads to high repetition rates (24%) and children do not attend school regularly, often resulting in dropping out. According to the World Bank, in 2010, 70% of students in Grade 1, 40% of students in Grade 2, and 20% of students in Grade 3 could not read simple text passages. Also, almost half of the children between 3 and 18 years old with disabilities are not enrolled in school (UNICEF 2023b).

Students look out the door at Cassait Basic School, Ulmera Liquica, Timor-Leste, 2015 / Photo by GPE/Lucinda Ramos via Flickr

Teacher’s capacity-building and lack thereof

One of the greatest challenges that Timor-Leste faces concerns the need to replenish the teaching workforce and the lack of a trained and capable workforce in the public school system (Quinn and Buchanan 2021; Ogden 2017). In fact, many teachers lack qualifications for educating children, especially as many only completed secondary education and only half of the workforce had the minimum qualification for teaching (Quinn and Buchan 2021). UNICEF and the Portuguese and Brazilian governments have been assisting the Ministry of Education in improving the education system for students and primary school teachers (UNICEF 2019). 

To build teachers’ skills and knowledge, UNICEF implemented initiatives that include inviting teachers from public schools to well-resourced schools to engage in peer learning and learn about good educational practices. This initiative follows the principles of Eskola Foun, a children-friendly approach to school that focuses on improving access to and quality of education in primary and pre-secondary Timorese schools. By building the capacity of teachers and school leaders, this program aims to promote a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment among schools in Timor-Leste, where students can thrive (UNICEF 2019). 

Teachers admitted that before engaging in this program, they would teach their students following the education method they experienced when they were students, where the teacher just wrote the content on the board and students would copy it without engaging. After the peer learning sessions, teachers started implementing a more democratic teaching approach in public schools, where students are encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas with the teacher and fellow students. Also, teachers implemented new learning approaches such as taking their students outside the classroom to explore (UNICEF 2019). 

Furthermore, the Ministry of Education has sought to build a strong workforce by implementing a teaching career regime to ensure teachers meet the required qualifications (Quinn and Buchanan 2021). The Ministry of Education also initiated a Curriculum Reform in 2013 for basic education intending to create a Timorese education system that focuses on the country’s culture, history and environment to strengthen national identity. Additionally, the new curriculum encourages using local examples as part of the learning process; for example, by encouraging teachers to use typical market shopping scenarios for calculation during math classes (Ogden 2017). However, the implementation of the curricular reform has often been inadequate due to miscommunication from government officials and the fact that many teachers are unfamiliar with the content (Ogden 2017). To face this challenge, the team responsible for the curricular reform has organized training sessions to clarify teachers’ questions.

Timor-Leste is facing another challenge since the number of teachers has not increased fast enough to follow the increase in school enrolment rates, overburdening teachers due to the increasing classroom sizes (Quinn and Buchanan 2021; Burns 2017). Additionally, teachers feel pressured due to the lack of resources and study material to teach the curriculum (Quinn and Buchanan 2021; Soares 2023). 

Language policy in education

Language has been a contentious issue in Timor-Leste since its independence (Ogden 2017). The current curriculum stipulates Tetum as the first language of instruction, with the gradual inclusion of Portuguese throughout elementary school (Quinn and Buchan 2021; Ogden 2017). This language-progression approach aims to ensure that students are fluent in both Tetun and Portuguese by grade 6, as Portuguese is the language of instruction in secondary school. However, there is a lack of teachers fluent in Portuguese, as the language is spoken only by a minority of the population (Burns 2017; Cabral and Martin-Jones 2021). Therefore, there is still a significant need to instruct teachers in Portuguese. 

Increasing literacy 

Due to the violence unleashed by the Indonesian invasion, a fifth of the population was prevented from finishing basic education (Komatsu 2019). Due to this situation, the Timorese government implemented the Equivalency Education Program in 2010, which offered young people and adults the opportunity to pursue their education through a condensed curriculum equivalent to primary and pre-secondary education. Participants can learn different subjects, including mathematics, science, history, work skills, vocational training, Portuguese, Tetun and English. Anyone can enroll in the program if they are between 15 and 17 years old and did not attend primary or pre-secondary school for more than 12 months, or above 17 years old and did not complete primary education. The Program is free but, while it has a high enrolment rate, it is still below the number of uneducated youths and adults in Timor-Leste. To illustrate, the Equivalency Education Program had 1041 students enrolled in 2010, despite 200000 adults being eligible for it. Nevertheless, in a study conducted by Komatsu (2019), it was clear that many participants never lost their desire to learn, seek new knowledge, and build self-confidence.

Alongside this program, the World Bank funded the Second Chance Education Project to enable adults to complete their basic education between 2010 and 2017. The program incorporated the special needs of mature students and offered a flexible delivery method for students to learn linguistic, scientific, and personal development skills. According to the World Bank, 55% of the participants were women, and 197 students had graduated by 2017 (World Bank 2018).


To conclude, despite being a relatively new nation, Timor-Leste has undergone a lot of progress to rebuild its educational system. Nevertheless, some challenges remain that hinder children’s access to quality education. The government should continue investing in schools’ renovation to ensure sanitation, hygiene and functioning infrastructure to promote students’ health and well-being. 

The Ministry of Education should also continue to assist teachers’ capacity-building, including their literacy in Portuguese. Training should be offered to aspiring teachers so these future professionals have the necessary instruction to excel at their jobs. However, alongside the teachers’ willingness to learn new teaching methods, they also need the appropriate resources to be able to implement the curriculum. These should be provided equally to all schools by the government and its partners. The Ministry of Education should prioritize the distribution of curriculum material to ensure that teachers are unified in their approach, providing high-quality education to students all over the country. 

Also, due to Timor-Leste’s recent independence from foreign occupation, the Ministry of Education should focus on developing a school curriculum that focuses on local history and culture as an essential part of the national development agenda. The government should advocate more for preschool education, especially among disadvantaged communities. Ensuring that children have the opportunity to attend preschool could help them prepare for Grade 1, as the high repetition rate is often associated with poor levels of school readiness (UNICEF 2023c).

Lastly, the government should invest more resources and increase access to quality education and innovative learning environments for out-of-school children and adolescents to ensure their right to education. Education should also be easily available for adults who have not finished basic education. On the same note, the Ministry of Education should offer vocational training that enables young people and adults to increase their social capital skills for employment.


Cover Image by GPE/Lucinda Ramos via Flickr

Educational challenges in Bahrain

Written by Francisca Rosales

Bahrain is an island nation in the Persian Gulf, comprising a small archipelago. Bahrain has approximately 1485509 inhabitants, 84% of its population is Muslim, and Arabic is the country’s official language. Bahrain achieved its independence from Britain in 1971. Since then, the government has envisioned moving the country toward a modern state (Gharaibeh, 2011).

Bahrain flag. Photo by jorono via Pixabay

Public education in Bahrain is free throughout primary and secondary education (The Borgen Project 2017). The Bahraini Constitution states the citizens’ right to education (Al Khalifa, 2022). The Education Law No. 27 of 2005 states that education is free in primary and secondary government schools, which applies to citizens and non-citizens (Oxford Business Group 2022). Education is compulsory for children aged 6 to 15, and public schools educate boys and girls separately. The Ministry of Education is responsible for directing private and public schools, which have to adhere to some of its curricular demands (Oxford Business Group 2022). The Ministry offers the syllabus for the Arabic language and approves the textbooks related to Arabic and Islamic studies. Students in public schools take modern Arabic, as well as English, since their first year in primary school. The spending on public education in 2020 was 2.152% of the country’s GDP (CEIC 2023a). 

The majority of the country, approximately 95.7%, is literate, and Bahrain has the highest female literacy rate, with 94.95% (CEIC 2023b). The secondary education system is divided into two tracks: unified and vocational. The first prepares students for higher education, whereas the vocational track prepares students to pursue technical careers. In 2019, the primary school enrolment was 97.4%, and the secondary education completion rate was 97.3% (Ministry of Education from the Kingdom of Bahrain 2023). 


According to the World Bank, the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic affected approximately 1.5 billion children worldwide, especially due to schools closing (Buheji et al. 2020: 474). During the lockdown, the Bahraini government ensured that children continued receiving education. Bahrain’s national wealth eased the transition to distance education. The percentage of students with access to the internet and computers was high (idem: 481). Charities supported families that did not have access to computers, and communities were highly involved and mobilized to ensure the continuity of education throughout the lockdown (ibid.).

Private schools were equipped with online learning tools to record lessons and send these to students and parents (idem: 480). Likewise, public schools also provided online education after completing a two-week training program for teachers. Lessons were available on live television, YouTube, and Microsoft Teams (ibid.). Students with special learning needs also continued their education online, with teachers providing one-to-one lessons together with the children’s parents. Lastly, higher education resumed online, with professors uploading their lectures online (ibid.).

Nevertheless, students and professors complained that the transition to online education was oftentimes challenging due to technical issues, teachers’ lack of enthusiasm during recorded lectures, and lack of organization (ibid.). Additionally, teachers highlighted that students rarely engaged during online classes and that online education was more theoretical than practical. This aspect prevented students from gaining experience in their field, limiting the development of employability competencies (idem: 481). 

Gender in Education & equality of opportunities

According to Unicef, Bahrain has made steady progress in gender equality in education and women’s empowerment (Unicef 2022: 2). Women’s education in Bahrain has been an essential step towards equality of opportunity, especially as girls are educated at the same rate as boys. The first public school for boys was established in 1919. The first public school for girls in Bahrain was established in 1928, being the first Arab country to pioneer formal education for girls (Gharaibeh 2011: 97). Approximately 97% of girls and 98% of boys are enrolled in primary schools, while 91% of girls and 87% of boys attend secondary schools (Borgen Project, 2017).

Furthermore, in 1983, the Bahrain Ministry of Education opened a department for adult education. The department aimed to offer women and men the opportunity to complete basic education in adult education centres. This initiative contributed to reducing the percentage of illiterate women from 76% in 1971 to 11.7% in 2006 (idem: 98). Furthermore, Bahraini women have access to higher education. The government offered scholarships to female students to enrol in foreign universities since the 1950s, and parents often send their daughters to Egypt, Iraq, and Syria to pursue higher education (ibid.). In the academic year of 2016-2017, 63.4% of students in higher education were women, illustrating a higher female representation in university compared to men (Statista, 2023).

Special needs education

The Ministry implemented a program in 2005 for inclusive education for students with special needs in public schools, which would offer educational opportunities tailored to the needs of students (Al Khalifa, 2022). In 2011, the government ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and developed a strategy for people with disabilities following the United Nations Development Program (ibid.). However, the implementation of this initiative has been challenging for public schools, and many students with special educational needs still lack an appropriate placement in the educational system.

In the academic year 2018-2019, 8600 students with special needs enrolled in public schools in Bahrain, including children with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and Down syndrome (ibid.). These students are often placed in segregated classrooms, lacking the opportunity to interact socially with other children. For example, some schools offer separate recess times for students attending special educational needs segregated classrooms (ibid.).

Additionally, there are no coherent guidelines or governmental standards serving as a point of reference to evaluate schools’ implementation of appropriate practices toward students with special educational needs (ibid.). Public schools often lack a special curriculum tailored to children’s learning needs. This hinders teachers’ capacity to conduct their classrooms, especially as many educators lack the necessary skills and training to deal with students with special needs.

Lastly, Bahrani public schools only offer special education services for students from age 6 to age 15, entailing that these educational programs are not available for pre-schools and secondary schools (ibid.). Therefore, students who later transition to general education in secondary schools often face great academic difficulties following the curriculum, as teachers fail to tailor it to the needs of students with disabilities (ibid.).

The Ministry of Education, however, is currently drafting a transitional program from secondary school to employment for students with special needs, which has already been implemented in the US, Canada, and the UK (ibid.). The program aims to support students’ transition from education to ‘adult life’.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of education is imperative for academic freedom. Nevertheless, academic freedom is highly restricted in Bahrain. The government’s intolerance policy towards dissent has negatively impacted both students and teachers (Bahrain Center for Human Rights 2021). Since the uprisings in 2011, hundreds of teachers and students have been imprisoned, intimidated into silence, or expelled from educational institutions for participating in activism or peaceful demonstrations (ibid.). Government critics are subject to discrimination in employment and scholarship distribution (ibid.). The Bahrain Teacher’s Association (BTA) played a vital role in the 2011 uprisings, leading multiple peaceful protests. The government responded by prosecuting hundreds of teachers and banned BTA in April 2011, replacing dissident teachers with employees they deemed more suitable (ibid.).

Scholars who openly criticized the Bahraini regime were arrested; some had their citizenship and passports revoked or were refused entry into Bahrain (ibid.). In 2011, the University of Bahrain dismissed 117 academic staff members. It expelled 427 university students for openly expressing their opinions, and the government nullified the scholarships of university students for the same reason (ibid.). Underage students have also been arrested, with figures reaching 191, 124, 56, and 41 in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively (ibid.). As a result of their incarceration, these children have been deprived of education. The Bahraini government also executed a student, Ali al-Singace, in 2017, although he was underage at the time of his arrest (ibid.).

Furthermore, the government has been accused of discriminatory practices in scholarship distributions (ibid.). Personal interviews account for a large part of the scholarship allocation process, and many students reported that authorities questioned them on their political beliefs (ibid.). To illustrate, some top students were deprived of scholarships and unable to acquire jobs due to their political opinions (ibid.). Thus, by persecuting educators and students for their political opinions and assigning scholarships according to political ideology, the Bahraini government is compromising human rights and the quality of education.

Conclusion and recommendations

Altogether, Bahrain should continue to offer free and mandatory education for all children from primary to secondary school, with special attention to low-income families. Regarding inclusivity and equality, the government should continue to ensure that girls and boys have access to education and sustain high literacy rates. Given that Bahrain only uses a very partial percentage of its GDP on education, the government could invest more money to ensure that the quality of education does not diminish.

The matter of human rights and freedom of expression is currently an urgent matter in Bahrain. There is a need for legislation to prevent any administrative practices that involve discrimination, and the Bahraini government should be encouraged to include human rights principles in its academic curricula.

Concerning inclusive education, the Ministry of Education should draft a tailored curriculum and ensure educators are more adaptable to students with disabilities. Special needs education should also enable a smooth transition to secondary education and ensure that students have the necessary life skills and social and communication skills.

There should be staff with appropriate training and educational material available to students with special needs so teachers can give the proper attention to their students. Additionally, Bahrain’s school system needs to adapt its facilities to the aspirations of students with disabilities instead of offering segregated and isolated facilities. Resources and facilities can be used more efficiently by shifting to a more inclusive educational environment. In other words, the government should advocate for an educational model that focuses on empowerment rather than assimilating students with special needs to the social norm.