Bahrain EDB Brings Global Summit to a Close

By The Bahrain Economic Development Board edb, PRNE
Saturday, October 9, 2010

Queen Rania on the Need for Quality Education in the Region

MANAMA, Bahrain, October 10, 2010 - Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the
Kingdom's Economic Development Board (EDB), has brought The Education Project
to a close.

Thanking the 500+ delegates for being part of the global
initiative, Shaikh Mohammed said: "When His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin
Hamad Al Khalifa
[the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the EDB] had
the vision and insight for a forum such as this, we could not have
anticipated the level of interest and support that we have witnessed from
around the globe. This continued support is vital to our shared cause -
shaping the future of education for all."

One example of such support came from Her Majesty Queen Rania
Al Abdullah
of Jordan, who has played an integral role in stimulating
educational advancement across the Middle East. Her Majesty said: "Our
children need a quality education to give them the skills and knowledge to
thrive in a 21st century economy. They need an education that unleashes their
creativity. But too often they get rote learning instead of dynamic inquiry.
They get told 'what,' instead of asked 'why'. And they never wonder 'what
if…' which leads to 'let's try!' To make the Middle East a vibrant region
of innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs, we need all of us to do even
more for our children's education."

Bahrain itself was the first in the Gulf to introduce a public
education system in 1919 and to open education to women in 1928. Today,
education and training is an important pillar underpinning the Kingdom's
Vision 2030, the blueprint for the development of the country's economy,
government and wider society over the coming decades. Bahrain is now two
years into the process, which the EDB is leading under the guidance of HRH
the Crown Prince.

Earlier in the evening Shaikh Mohammed announced the winner of
the 'Best Seedling' award. The Maharishi Institute, South Africa, presented
by Dr Taddy Blecher, picked up the accolade as voted by the audience. The
award recognises new educational models that have the potential to improve
education outcomes significantly through an innovative, scalable and
replicable business model that can work in different countries and regions.
It is hoped that by recognising these seedlings they may be propelled into
the broader public domain so that they receive continued funding and support.

The winner, The Maharishi Institute, South Africa, creates
large-scale and economically self-sufficient educational institutions,
providing free education and salaries from Grade 11 to MBA level.

    Other finalists included:

    - Tinkering School, USA which offers an exploratory curriculum and
      collaborative environment designed to help children aged 8 - 17 explore
      building techniques and principles.

    - Aprendiz City School, Brazil which addresses the needs of the child,
      their family and the community through interactive,
      multi-dimensional learning.

    - The Kelly Yang Project, Hong Kong which is an after-school writing
      programme for 2 - 5 year olds and an excellent example of integrated
      learning, teaching, creative thinking and critical reasoning skills.

Further highlights from the final day included a panel
featuring some of the region's Ministers of Education. In 'The Government
Perspective', HE Dr Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education, Kingdom
of Bahrain and Dr Hatem Ben Salem, Minister of Education and Training,
Tunisia outlined how the education sector has changed over the last five
years and how it will continue to evolve.

An online platform and directory has been built to facilitate
knowledge exchange among the community of experts formed at the event. The
Education Project 'Portal' will allow educators to stay in touch and reach
out for advice, funding, networking and career opportunities. It will
continue the momentum that followed last year's inaugural event, with
mentoring programmes now being rolled out in Kenya, New Zealand and Bahrain;
an international roll-out planned for a South African vocational training
model; an online learning programme to be piloted in Pakistan, Kenya, Saudi
and UAE, and partner schools being set up across continents.

Notes to editors

About The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is a dynamic
public agency with an overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing
the economic development strategy of Bahrain, and for creating the right
climate to attract direct investment into the Kingdom.

The role of the Bahrain EDB is to provide leadership by
uniting all of the Kingdom's shareholders through a unified vision, and to
develop key strategies for growth. The Bahrain EDB also acts as a
facilitator, helping all of Bahrain's stakeholders to understand and adopt
the changes necessary for progress. In addition, the Bahrain EDB provides
sound project management to ensure that all agreed reform initiatives are
implemented in an effective and timely manner.

The Bahrain EDB is also responsible for attracting inward investment into
Bahrain, and is focusing on six target economic sectors in which the Kingdom
offers significant strengths. These are financial services, downstream
industries, tourism, business services, logistics, and education and

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit; for information about Bahrain visit

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    Further information

    Jenan Al Maskati, Bahrain Economic Development Board
    Tel: +973-17-589-930

    Katie Bergius, Bell Pottinger
    Tel: +44(0)207-861-3105 / +44(0)7979-701-689

    Doreen Bonnami, The Experience
    Tel: +1-212-794-8801 x1105

Further information: Jenan Al Maskati, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Tel: +973-17-589-930, Email: internationalmedia at; Katie Bergius, Bell Pottinger, Tel: +44(0)207-861-3105 / +44(0)7979-701-689, Email: kbergius at; Doreen Bonnami, The Experience, Tel: +1-212-794-8801 x1105, Email: Doreen.Bonnami at

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