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Current school year is exceptional in every sense, says Dr Madiha

23 Feb 2021

Omani Teachers’ Day celebrated on Wednesday

Dr Madiha bint Ahmed bin Nasser al Shibaniyah, Minister of Education, said that the current school year is an exceptional one in every sense following the challenges it is experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the sultanate marks Omani Teachers’ Day, which falls on February 24 every year, Dr Madiha underlined the impact of the pandemic on the education sector saying that “the educational process has not faced a difficult challenge as the one currently it is facing”. Here she acknowledged the sacrifices that the teachers “have made in order to educate your students since the beginning of the pandemic”. 

“We are very proud of your remarkable role in educating students, about the importance of adhering to health procedures, your positive interaction with electronic educational platforms, and your great effort in producing educational content,” Dr Madiha said. At the same time, the minister pointed out that the next stage requires teachers to continue the educational process with efficiency and competence. 

“We need to preserve these gains, and build on them by multiplying efforts in improving educational practices and devising advanced methods to consolidate the principles of self-learning among students. We should work on instilling citizenship values in students, and providing them with accreditation skills on the psyche and scientific research,” she said.

“All that shall lead to preparing a generation capable of interacting with renewed data, and making it enjoy the skills of the 21st century, in line with the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, which made the development of the educational system and the improvement of its outcomes a fundamental basis for the comprehensive development of the country.

“The challenges facing the world after the spread of the COVID-19 has had a major impact in various areas of life: health, economy, society and other areas, and cast a shadow directly on the education sector. It resulted in various countries finding innovative solutions and methods for providing educational services that ensure the safety of learners and those in charge of educational work. Providing quality and sustainable education is now relying heavily on technology and electronic distance education, through interactive educational platforms established for this purpose.”

In light of the current exceptional circumstances, the minister said, “Education in the sultanate enjoys a great interest and diligent follow-up from His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. The Supreme Committee in charge of dealing with the spread of COVID-19 made the decision of applying the blended learning curriculum with a focus on distance education.

“Accordingly, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has laid the foundations and controls needed to implement blended education, activate the e-learning as a central component of the educational process, and take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of teachers, students and the school environment,” she said.

In the current academic year 2020/21, the total number of teachers in public schools reached 56,827 of whom 48,176 are Omanis. Majority of the teachers are female that make 72.96 per cent of the total.

The largest number of Omani teachers are concentrated in North Batinah governorate, with 10,103 of them engaged there.  MoE is keen to enhance the knowledge of the Omani teachers and provide them with the necessary skills to face the challenges of the spread of COVID-19, which requires providing teachers with the knowledge and methods necessary to develop their level of performance in the field of distance education.

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