MPs yesterday unanimously approved a proposal to force expatriate parents to pay BD100 if they wanted their children to be educated in government schools.

The proposed bill has been referred to the government to draft as a proper law and returned to the National Assembly for review.

However, the Education Ministry warned MPs that the amendment to the 2005 Education Law would cause more harm than do good.“Children of Bahraini mothers and children of expatriates under government contracts are entitled to free education in government schools,” said the ministry.

“We stopped accepting expatriate students in government schools in 2018 and those remaining will eventually finish grade 12.”The Civil Service Commission said that the move would cause a financial burden.“We need expatriates for rare specialisations and most want to come with their families,” it said.“If the government doesn’t provide their children with free education then we will have to pay much more under contractual obligations with private schools.

”Excluded under the bill are GCC nationals and children of Bahraini mothers.Zainab Abdulamir demanded exemption for children who don’t have passports because their parents have been stripped of their citizenship, or are stateless but living in Bahrain.Meanwhile, MPs postponed a debate on amendments to the 2006 Insurance Against Unemployment Law that would see BD20 million taken out annually to support the in-job training programme, Chances (Foras).

Another bill to force businesses into giving zakat (alms-giving) was also postponed, along with proposed amendments to the 2015 Commercial Registrations Law that would see closed and public shareholding companies listed under Bahrain Bourse.Parliament rejected amendments presented by the Shura Council to the 2018 Competition Protection and Encouragement Law, saying the law was fresh and needed time to achieve targeted goals.The legislation was referred to the Shura Council for review.

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