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The French School of Bahrain, also known as Lycée Français MLF de Bahreïn, has undergone a significant BD2m revamp, as revealed exclusively in GulfWeekly, and has appointed a proud new principal to overlook the expanded learning institution.
One of the most pivotal moments in French history was the Revolution from 1789 to 1799 and an educational one is now taking shape far from the European homeland, in the town of Busaiteen.
Bénédicte Bessette is now at the school’s helm, having taken charge at the start of the new school year. She said: “As the principal, I’m very proud to say that the school is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology and with all equipment being completely new.
“The primary and secondary classes are equipped with Toshiba Starboard smartboards, whilst all students in secondary school have a digital tablet which enables them to learn in an innovative way, thereby developing their life skills and encouraging them to work independently.
“The new building boasts rooms that are designed to impart quality education to our students, namely a new computer room, science laboratories, a music room, art room, a library with a huge collection of books in French, English and Arabic, and an auditorium.
“I am delighted to be able to provide students with an environment that is conducive to their learning. Technical innovations lead us to educational initiatives and to work actively with students and build their competencies and skills.”
The final addition was the laying of a car park next to the new building, which will help alleviate long-standing problems of traffic flow.
The school was founded in 1976 as a means of catering to the small French community in the kingdom at the time. Starting from a small villa in Salmaniya, the well-respected learning establishment, in which French, Arabic and the English language is spoken by many of its pupils, has become one of the main institutions on the island.
The multi-cultural centre caters to 740 students comprising 40 different nationalities, and follows the French curriculum from nursery through to the final year of high school (Grade 12). It was initially founded under the auspices of the French Government Department of Education but is now managed directly by the Mission Laïque Française, which is a non-profit organisation which works to spread the French language and culture by creating and running schools outside France.
Bénédicte has a distinguished career in the education field, having held numerous posts in various French institutions. Before commencing her latest assignment in the kingdom, she was in charge of another MLF establishment, the French International School of Agadir in Morocco.
She appears to have settled in well, already building up a rapport with students, colleagues, parents and locals too. “The people are very warm, hospitable and friendly. I look forward to a great partnership with the local community,” she added.
This year, for the first time, the school is offering French language courses to non-French speaking parents, free of charge, from a qualified, specialist teacher. The aim is to help parents follow their children’s education more closely, aiding in communication skills at home, and to improve their vocabulary to help with homework and lessons.
Bénédicte said: “We are the only school approved by the French Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The success rate in exams is exceptional (100 per cent) and we offer a plethora of extracurricular activities after class to further growth in other departments.
“There is a real sense of belonging in the school and our doors are open to all new students wishing to grow up in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment.”