History of Education in Oman

By: Rayan Al Shibli

A fresh graduate majoring in journalism from the University of Applied Science and Technology, Nizwa.
History of Education in Oman
At the beginning of the blessed era of renaissance in the Sultanate, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur – may his soul rest in peace – has been stressing the importance of science and knowledge in building civilizations and building nations and peoples due to his firm belief that with science and understanding a person can move towards the path of the future.The voice of the Sultan, may God have mercy on him, is still calling out to the Omanis in the early seventies of the last century, “we will educate our children even if under the shade of trees,” resonating everywhere.

Education system before era of renaissance
There was a simple educational system in the Sultanate of Oman at the beginning of the era of education, as is the case in most Arab Gulf countries. It only took place inside masjids or in homes and was limited to the education of males without females and well-off people. It was more like the books in which they received the teachings of the Qur’an And the Sunnah of the Prophet without other sciences.
Before the beginning of the Renaissance, science was limited to a specific group of individuals.

Education system in the beginning of renaissance era

However, with the beginning of the Renaissance in the year thousand nine hundred and seventy, a slogan echoed throughout Oman and its environs: “We will educate our children even if it is under the shade of a tree.” It started with three schools, called Al Saadia School. From here, the education system began to lay its foundation in Oman.

The first regular school in the history of the Sultanate of Oman
The first regular school was opened in the Omani capital, Muscat, and it was named Al Saadia after the birth of Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Six years of primary education, and that school was very similar to the schools in our time, as it took care of education in addition to its interest in many cultural, artistic, sports, and scientific activities, developing students’ skills, helping them to create and innovate, and even organizing Some excursions for students to learn about the nature of their country and its essential features.

The base of the education system in Oman 

The Omani government comprised four ministers and included the Minister of Education. After that, educational matters became more accessible, and (245) students were accepted. New schools were opened in the eastern sector of Salalah and the coastal villages such as Taqa, Mirbat, and Sadah. (5) Teachers: Most of these students were in the schools of the writers before they joined the public school. During this period, illiteracy was a significant obstacle facing the education process. Still, this obstacle was overcome under the slogan of education for all, and thus, education became available to all without any restrictions due to age or gender. The first group of literacy centers was opened, which enthusiastically attracted those who could not read—the academic year 1974/1975 witnessed an increase in the number of students in all stages of the Sultanate, as their number reached (49,414) male and female students studying in the secondary stage, (571) male and female students in the academic preparatory phase, and (70) students in the vocational initial stage—and (115) male and female students in the Mandatory Private School. In the first year of the second five-year plan (1981-1985), the educational renaissance march in the Sultanate reached two directions. Attention also included the institutes for preparing male and female teachers, which were developed, and admission to them became limited to those with a general secondary certificate. It continues as the same rhythm of improving day by day.

Education during the reign of Sultan Haitham

Sultan Haitham, may God protect him, continued in the same footsteps as His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Muazzam – may God protect him – affirmed that education of all kinds and levels would be among the government’s priorities in the strategic plans and given the precautionary measures witnessed by the Sultanate of Oman – similar to the rest of the countries World – Because of the Corona pandemic, the decisions of the Supreme Committee came in line with the supreme interest in education, as the Supreme Committee decided to deal with the Corona pandemic (Covid 19) that the current academic year 2021/2022 AD will be through blended education for high-density schools, and direct instruction for schools of low density.

At present, education for all has been provided in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman in response to the increasing growth in the number of students. There are (56,827) male and female teachers and the number of administrators is (10,746) administrators and technicians.

The number of kindergarten schools in private education reached (370) schools, of which (339) are monolingual schools and (31) are bilingual schools. There were (292) private schools distributed among (109) monolingual private schools, (157) bilingual private schools and (26) international private schools.

The Ministry of Education has also paid attention to special education students by providing educational services for people with disabilities in special education schools, an integration program for people with disabilities, and a support program for people with learning difficulties. In the academic year 2021/2022 AD, the number of integration classes reached (383), with an increase of (85) from the previous year; the auditory integration classes had (47) courses in the first cycle and (76) classes in the second cycle. As for mental integration, the number of integration classes in the first cycle reached (178) rows and (82) rows in the second cycle.

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