Q. Can I learn Arabic?
A. There are several places to learn Arabic, one of them being Berlitz. However, on campus if there is collective interest, classes may be arranged with the Special Arabic teachers.
Q. Are there any benefits or opportunities to learn another language while I?m in Bahrain?
A. As a benefit for working at Al Hekma, Berlitz Language Centre is offering a 10% discount for our staff when you register as PD staff member ( speak to Professional Development Team).
If you are interested in taking advantage of this offer you can contact Berlitz on the below details:
Flat No.11, Building 256A Road 3605, Area 336, P.O. Box 15342
Phone: +973 17 827 847
Fax: +973 17 723 449
Q. Does the school provide me with transportation to and from the campus?
A. Most of the provided accommodation of staff is within walking distance from the school campus. Later on you can either hire a car, car pool with friends or arrange a driver. The school will try to help those placed in further accommodation by providing transportation for the first 3 months until the employee arranges their own.
Q. When can I get a driving license in Bahrain?
A. Americans, Canadians, Australians and British are permitted to drive in Bahrain with an international drivers license. Once you have received your residency permit you are able to apply for a Bahraini driver's license without sitting for a driving exam, you will need to pay a nominated fee for the license and undergo an eye examination. Other countries are required to make an appointment and sit an exam at the Traffic Directorate in Isa Town. Once your residency permit has been issued you must be holding a Bahraini driver's license to be legally driving in Bahrain.
Q. How soon can I get a phone number in Bahrain?
A. We recommend that you bring an unlocked mobile phone that is tri-band or more. Upon arriving in the airport you will be able to purchase a sim card for a minimal fee (minimum $15 USD). If you do not have a compatible mobile, one may be purchased at the airport, prices vary.
Q. What is Bahrain like?
A. The Gulf in general is a region rich in culture and traditions. Other cultures are welcomed and appreciated. People living in the Gulf are both accommodating and friendly. English is widely spoken and understood. For more information on the culture, events and lifestyle see www.clickbahrain.com .
Q. How long will it take process my visa?
A. After submitting your documents to the Ministry of Labor, the issuance of a work visa is anticipated to take anywhere between 1-3 months after arriving in Bahrain. Certain religious holidays such as Ramadan and Eid may delay the processing times. The flow of arrivals in Bahrain will also play a determining factor in the length of processing time (e.g. end of summer is busier therefore may take longer).
Q. Is there a relocation/settling in allowance?
A. Yes, there is a $200 USD (75 BD) relocation allowance per person upon arriving in Bahrain (this is issued only once upon arrival and does not apply when the employee leaves for vacation or leaves the country either to return to their origin country or otherwise). In addition to the allowance the school provides you with a fully furnished flat. The flat is stocked with necessities for the first few days such as tea, sugar, bread, cheese, fruits, water, juice, coffee, milk, vegetables, shampoo, towels, napkins, garbage bags, washing detergent, soap and more. The later are provided to make settling in as smooth as possible. We will then provide you with an orientation schedule which includes taking you shopping for groceries and other needs.
Q. Do I require any vaccinations before entering Bahrain?
A. There are no vaccination requirements to enter the country. After entering Bahrain you will be required to complete a medical check-up in order to attain your work permit. Your medical date will be assigned to you upon airport arrival.
Q: As an expat moving to Bahrain, when will I receive my ticket to arrive to Bahrain? When will I receive a ticket to depart Bahrain and return home?
A. Employees will receive their tickets 2 weeks prior to their arrival or departure.
Q. When will my salary be paid?
A. Salaries are issued on the 7th of each month. After an account is opened with a local bank this money will be directly deposited into your account. If the 7th lands on a weekend or a public holiday, money will be deposited on the next business day.
Q. Will I get paid in the summer and holidays?
A. Yes, upon completing an academic year you will be paid for summer vacations and breaks.
Q. What is the dress code for teachers and students?
A. As representatives of the school and role models to their students, teachers and staff members are required to maintain high standards of appearance, personal hygiene, and grooming. Appearance at school and school functions should be smart and professional (attire, footwear, hair colour and accessories). No visible tattoos or body piercing is allowed and also teachers are not to dye their hair with unusual colours such as pink, blue, purple...etc. The host country’s culture asks that you cover your upper arms, your thighs and chest. By doing this you show respect for the local culture. Jeans, tank tops, flip flops and shorts are not acceptable. Students on the other hand have a mandatory uniform. For more detail see the Faculty Handbook.
NOTE: teachers should wear their shirts, tie, suits, formal clothing when attending parent meetings.
Q. Will you inform me if my assignment changes by the time I arrive?
A. the recruitment process or employment, positions or workload may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as a change in the number of registered students. However, we plan to inform all our staff in due time of the changes and will give optimal preparation time.
Q. Will I have access to the internet and intranet on campus?
A. Yes, internet and intranet access is available to all staff on campus for educational as well as professional development purposes. However, chatting as well as personal email has been restricted; we encourage our staff to leave chatting and personal emails to the comfort of their own home at their leisure.
Q. Do I get compensated for attending Professional Development?
A.AHIS pays for all expenses including airfare, accommodation and PD fees for courses outside Bahrain as well as per diem if the attendee is recommended and the PD workshop is approved by the school. If however the Professional Development takes place in Bahrain, only the course fees will be paid for.
Q. What are the working hours and work week at AHIS?
A. Teachers: Sun-Thurs. 7.00 am - 3.00 pm
Admin: Sun- Thurs. 7.00 am - 4.00 pm
Q. Where is the school located?
A. Building No.1962, Road 4363, Sanad 743.
Q. What types of activities are available in the school?
A. Various activities such as Model United Nations (MUN), Student Council, Sports Day and the Bahrain Young Entrepreneurs (BYE) are just some examples.
Q. What makes Al Hekma different from other private schools?
A. Al Hekma is an educational institute which offers its employees and students many amenities as do other schools, however, it differs in its community and familial atmosphere. A strong sense of community, interaction and helping one another prevails.
Q. Are school buses available for students?
A. Yes, for a nominal fee.
Q. Do you provide tickets for staff and family members?
A. We provide tickets for the employee. Tickets for family members if arranged by the school must be paid by employee up front.
Q. How does the school encourage commendable pupils and directors to attend overseas conferences like the GYLC? United Nations? Etc. Does the school pay a certain percentage of the fee towards travel and expenses?
A. Fundraisers and community sponsorship are sought after. The school also sponsors employees on a case to case basis and for professional development.
Q. Should students bring their own lunches?
A. We encourage students to either pack a healthy lunch or purchase from our canteen.
Q. Can students access the library during school hours?
Q. Will I be compensated for training remedial classes from 2-3pm (during working hours)?
Q. Will I be compensated for training remedial classes after working hours?
Q. Do I get benefits for enrolling my kids at AHIS?
A. Yes, employees receive 40% discount on tuition. Books, uniforms, transportation, yearbook, application fee are to be paid separately. Discount does not apply to them, please check the website for tuition fees if interested.
Q. What do I do if I need to ship something to AHIS?
A. Ship to the following address and address to:
c/o Ahmed Hachicho PO BOX 26489,
Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain
Building No.1962, Road 4363
Kingdom of Bahrain
You are required to take care of payment on your end, however we ask you hold on to your receipts if you require reimbursement. Al Hekma will reimburse up to a total of $200 USD (75BD).
Q. What and where does my healthcare cover?
A. Healthcare is provided as a benefit for the employee only. The policy includes visits to the doctor, radiology, lab tests, medicine, procedures, and does not include pre-existing medical conditions. The coverage is provided worldwide excluding Canada and the US (in the case you have an emergency while in the US or Canada, the insurance company will reimburse you on a case to case basis). .
Q. How much does it cost to add my children to my healthcare coverage?
A. Each child costs approximately anywhere from $345-400 USD (130-150 BD) annually.
Q. What are the benefits of enrolling my children at AHIS?
A. Children of AHIS employees receive a 40% tuition discount. Children of staff can also remain on campus, supervised, until 3:00pm (which is end of working day for employees).
Q. Will I be able to find American/European products?
A. American and European products (ranging from food to toiletries) can be found in supermarkets such as Jawad, Al Osrah and Waitrose. The prices of these products are pricier than local goods (local goods are of equal quality and lower in prices).
Q. What is included in a shared fully furnished apartment?
A. The following are items that you can expect to find in your apartment upon arrival: some basic groceries to get you started, a fridge, washing machine/dryer, bed and mattress, cupboard for clothing, sofa set, coffee table, television, satellite dish, bed sheets, towels, some cutlery and glasses,
Q. Will new teachers be provided with an orientation?
A. Upon arriving in Bahrain teachers will be taken to grocery stores and shopping malls. An orientation of the school and its amenities will also be provided.
Q. Is there internet access in the apartment housing?
A. Internet is not included in the school housing, however is available for a nominal fee. A list of internet providers will be given upon request.
Q. Will we be provided with a multi-entry/exit visa, so that we may travel to other countries during our time in Bahrain other than flying to home in the summers?
A. Staff entering Bahrain will arrive on a work permit. The school arranges for a multi entry/exit to facilitate smooth travelling during the year. Therefore, our staff will be able to freely tour neighboring countries and return home on vacations with ease.
Q. How necessary is it to have a car? Do most teachers have their own car?
A. Although our housing is in a prime location, close to work and other necessities. We do recommend purchasing or renting a car as public transportation may pose an inconvenience.
Q. Are we provided with funds to purchase our initial ticket to Bahrain?
A. One of the many benefits included in our staff packages includes annual roundtrip airfare to and from your home country which the school will arrange for your convenience.
Q. Does the school provide medical insurance for my family?
A. No, however, you may purchase medical insurance for a reasonable rate from our insurance provider for the rest of your family.
Q. Why do foreign staff members get a 1% salary deduction for GOSI?
A. The 1% Gosi deducted as an unemployment insurance that was introduced by the government in 2008.
Q. How many paid absence days off do I get in a year?
A. Bahraini labor law grants up to 15 paid, approved leaves at full rate, and 15 days at half rate. You have scheduled holidays based on the annual activities calendar which are also a paid leave.
Q. Does the school help to offer visas to the spouses of staff members?
A. Yes, no - objection forms which are required by the government are provided by the HR Department, upon request.
Q. Will I be able to travel within the GCC (Gulf) and surrounding countries on my passport?
A. This depends on which passport you hold and the ability to apply for a visa. For example American passport holders may travel within the GCC excluding Saudi Arabia with their Bahrain employment visa, however, some of these countries may require purchasing a visa upon arrival. Contact your embassy for more information.
Q. What do I do if I need to order teaching resources?
A. You will need to complete a Resource Order form, state the reason and submit to your academic department. Major resources ordered from the US will be processed in August, December and June of each year.
Q. What should I expect of the students?
A. Al Hekma is an international school with a wide array of cultures, however, our students are primarily ESL students. Thus, differentiation in the classroom, instructional activities and alternative assessment are all essential in optimizing students learning experience.
Q. What is the cultural breakdown of students at AHIS?
A. Approximately 55% of students are locals and the remaining are international students. The breakdown of our international student body is primarily from the Middle East, however, there are a number of students from Canada, New Zealand, England and the USA.
Q. How big are class sizes?
A. Classes typically range from anywhere from 18-24 students. In KG and Grade 1 sections and lower elementary an assistant is provided.
Q. What is the latest, advanced technology that we can apply in teaching?
Q. Do I have to attend the school activities that are held after teaching hours?
A. Staff are encouraged to participate in school activities as they promote school community, however, if there are extraneous circumstances that prevent you from attending an event your supervisor is to be informed.
Q. What are the responsibilities of a homeroom teacher?
More details are outlined in the teacher handbook, which will be provided to you during orientation and will be available on our server.
Q. Do you have any support for struggling students?
A. Teachers offer remedial classes, tutoring, and social workers as well as counselors to help reach out to struggling students. Differentiations and IEP plans are also developed to assist in the learning process.
Q. Which assessment systems are followed?
A. Ongoing alternative and formal assessments in addition to a summative final exam at the end of each semester.
Q. Which curriculum does AHIS follow?
A. An American curriculum which emphasizes Bahraini culture, civics, religion and Arabic language.
Q. When can I start attending PD (Professional Development) courses?
A. After your probation period, based on your evaluation, surveys, and SWG (school-wide-goals) your coordinator and the PD team will research appropriate courses/training to suit your purposes and contact you.
Q. What is the best way to deal with ESL learners?
A. There are various approaches, some are presented during orientation. Several other forms are specifically tailored to teaching strategies which would be presented in professional development.
Q. Can I borrow books from the school library?
A. Yes, we encourage all staff and students to take advantage of our facilities.