Oman to modernize education & research by 2040: Education minister tells UN

MUSCAT: Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniya, Minister of Education and Chairperson of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, led the Sultanate of Oman’s delegation to participate in the Education Transformation Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA on Monday.

The summit was in response to the call of the UN Secretary-General for world leaders to discuss the post Covid-19 and its effects on the education sector and to highlight the areas of education that require further development such as safe and inclusive school environments, teacher development, life and work skills, sustainable development, learning and transformation digital, education financing.

The summit was attended by heads and representatives of states and governments of member states, ministers of education, UN agencies and civil society organizations concerned with education, higher education, research, scientific and innovation and ministry of economy.

In her speech, Al Shaibaniyah said: “It is our pleasure to participate today in this global summit, and to express our deep appreciation for the role played by the United Nations in achieving the sustainable development goals, including the fourth goal and its goals, and its strenuous efforts to support the provision of sustainable development goals. Good education for all without exception. Through this speech, I have the honor to convey to you the greetings of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman, and his wishes for the success of the work of this summit and the achievement of its desired goals, based on the vision of my country, the Sultanate of Oman 2040, which was crystallized and formulated in the light of societal consultations and consensus.”

Oman’s education minister continued: “Since its implementation in the year 2021, the vision has focused on modernizing the education system, supporting scientific research, innovation, social welfare and its basic services, and making education a basic pillar for achieving sustainable development.”

Regarding the efforts of the Sultanate to hold broad national consultations, the Minister said: “In preparation for this global summit, and in response to the call of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to hold broad national consultations, my country, the Sultanate of Oman, held these consultations through the implementation of an expanded national symposium in June 2022, with extensive participation from all government and private sectors, civil society institutions, as well as youth, teachers and students to come up with a common, compatible and consistent national vision with global trends aimed at developing education, and to integrate the new approach to learning in education policies and practices in line with the philosophy of education in the Sultanate and to take advantage of the opportunities that resulted during the COVID-19 pandemic, a copy has been provided to your organization.”

She affirmed the Sultanate’s commitment to continuing spending on education as a national priority, developing innovative financing methods and enhancing investment attraction, with its recent allocation of additional incentive packages to education.
“My country, the Sultanate of Oman, today renews its international commitments, which it pledged, to achieve the goals and indicators of the fourth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, and calls on the United Nations and its international and regional institutions and organizations concerned to intensify efforts and direct action. Towards an innovative mechanism for cooperation and follow-up to the education transformation process, in line with the Education 2030 Agenda.

It is worth noting that the Sultanate, in preparation for participation in this global summit, conducted comprehensive national consultations to transform education by organizing a national symposium: “Education in the Sultanate of Oman: Towards sustainable education that enhances future skills” in June, which attracted 250 participants including professionals in the education sector, representatives of the private sector, youth, civil society organizations, teachers, educational supervisors, students and parents.

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