Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. Education is free for Bahraini citizens in public schools, with the Bahraini Ministry of Education providing free textbooks. Coeducation is not used in public schools, with boys and girls segregated into separate schools.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Qur'anic schools (Kuttab) were the only form of education in Bahrain. They were traditional schools aimed at teaching children and youth the reading of the Qur'an. After World War I, Bahrain became open to western influences, and a demand for modern educational institutions appeared. 1919 marked the beginning of modern public school system in Bahrain when the Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia School for boys opened in Muharraq. In 1926, the Education Committee opened the second public school for boys in Manama, and in 1928 the first public school for girls was opened in Muharraq. As of 2011, there are a total of 126,981 students studying in public schools.
In 2004, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa introduced the "King Hamad Schools of Future" project that uses Information Communication Technology to support K–12 education in Bahrain. The project's objective is to connect all schools within the kingdom with the Internet. In addition to British intermediate schools, the island is served by the Bahrain School (BS). The BS is a United States Department of Defense school that provides a K-12 curriculum including International Baccalaureate offerings. There are also private schools that offer either the IB Diploma Programme or United Kingdom's A-Levels.
Bahrain also encourages institutions of higher learning, drawing on expatriate talent and the increasing pool of Bahrain nationals returning from abroad with advanced degrees. The University of Bahrain was established for standard undergraduate and graduate study, and the King Abdulaziz University College of Health Sciences, operating under the direction of the Ministry of Health, trains