Muscat – On September 8, as part of International Literacy Day celebrations, Oman – led by the Ministry of Education – will joins UNESCO and global counterparts to emphasise its dedicated efforts against illiteracy.
National Centre for Statistics and Information’s data for 2022 showed the sultanate’s illiteracy rate dropped to 2.60% among individuals aged 15 and older.
This year’s theme of International Literacy Day – ‘Promoting Literacy in Light of Global Transformation: Building the Foundation for Achieving a Sustainable and Safe Life for Communities’ – aligns seamlessly with Oman’s transformative education vision. Since 1973, Oman has worked to not only promote reading and writing but also ensure holistic education for everyone, irrespective of gender and age.
As global dynamics shift, Oman’s approach to literacy evolved, transitioning from solely focusing on alphabetic literacy to championing continuous education and lifelong learning.
The ministry formulated strategic plans targeting a rapid decline in illiteracy rates. These efforts have been fruitful, with the illiteracy rate among the 15-and-older age group now at 2.60%. Regionally, Oman is also dedicated to the objectives of the Arab Decade for Eradication of Illiteracy (2015/2024), aiming to be completely illiterate-free by 2024. The focused attention on the productive age group of 15-44 has resulted in a significant drop in illiteracy, going from 2.2% in 2015 to an impressive 0.44% by the end of 2022.
To achieve these results, several collaborative projects involving public and private sectors, alongside civil society, were initiated. Noteworthy projects include the training bag project, enhancing teacher skills; the Educated Village Project, targeting entire villages; and cooperative school projects, leveraging existing school infrastructures.
New initiatives encompass efforts to extend literacy to special populations, including Omanis living on islands, those working in the private sector, and people with disabilities.