Over 729,000 Students return as new academic year begins in Oman

1,242 schools across the Sultanate will receive 729,331 male and female students, 57,033 teachers and 10,834 administrators and technicians from various governorates of the Sultanate to start the 2022/ 2023 academic year.

Muscat: More than 729,000 students will return to over 12,000 schools in the Sultanate of Oman as the 2022/2023 academic year begins today.

Across the Sultanate, 1,242 schools will receive 729,331 male and female students, 57,033 teachers and 10,834 administrators and technicians from various governorates of the Sultanate to start the 2022/2023 academic year.

The number of students in government schools is 729,331, of whom 368,184 (50.9 percent) are male and 361,147 (49.5 percent) are female in about 1,242 schools, including 339 schools for the first cycle, 306 schools for the second cycle, 489 schools for the continuing cycle, 14 schools for grades 11-12 and 94 schools for grades 10-12, including 383 for male students with a percentage of 30.8, 227 schools for girls with a percentage of 18.3 and 632 joint schools with a percentage of 50.9.

These schools are divided into morning schools and evening schools.  The total number of evening schools is 107, including 68 joint schools with a percentage of 63.5, 22 schools for males with a percentage of 22.6 and 17 schools for females with a percentage of 15.9, and the total of the first cycle schools of them number 63 schools. 

At a rate of 58.9 percent, the second cycle schools number 63 with a percentage of 33.6 percent, and the continuous cycle schools are (8 schools) with a percentage of 7.5 percent.

The number of teachers in these schools of the Sultanate reached 57,033, including 17,396 male teachers (30.5 percent) and 39,637 female teachers (69.5 percent).

The number of administrators and technicians in government schools reached 10,834, including 4,341 technicians and administrators at a rate of 40.1 percent and 6,493 administrative and technical at a rate of 59.9 percent.

Praising His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniya, Minister of Education, said that on behalf of students, teachers and employees of the Ministry of Education, we extend thanks and gratitude for His Majesty’s generous and continuous sponsorship of the educational process in the country, and for the great care and attention he has bestowed through his recent supreme directives to provide school essentials to deserving groups.

Her Excellency Minister of Education, congratulated the students and members of the teaching, administrative and technical staff on the occasion and welcomed the new teachers saying, “I am pleased to take this opportunity to welcome fellow teachers and new teachers who have had the honour to join us in the educational system.”

“We will contribute to strengthen the work in various sectors of the ministry, which comes within the framework of global trends aimed at providing the education sector with well-qualified teachers, to secure a better future for learners, in order to achieve the goals of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in line with the strategic direction of the Oman 2040 vision on education,” she said.

Her Excellency confirmed her follow-up work and appreciation for the efforts of the teaching and administrative staff, and said: “We have followed with interest and appreciation the efforts made, the effective initiatives and the roles presented by you during the pandemic and the recovery phase, which stems from your deep belief in your lofty message and your professional responsibility towards present and future generations.
“I am confident that you will continue your efforts to bring about a positive change in learning at all levels, she said, adding that “together, we will continue to ensure that the gains of the pandemic are exploited, and we support policies to empower teachers to achieve the envisaged goals.”

Her Excellency referred to the qualitative shift in the educational curricula, saying the conditions and qualitative transformations that the world is going through today require us all to join efforts and do everything in our power to achieve quality and keep pace with the requirements of sustainable development, diversify sources of funding and offer educational paths to enhance the skills of learners and meet the future needs of the labour market.

It is necessary to make a qualitative shift in our educational curricula to keep pace with the Oman 2040 vision and the digital transformation in the educational learning process.

On the most important preparations for the education sector, Dr. Abdullah bin Khamis Ambusaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, said the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation has recently modified and developed the documents for evaluating students’ learning in various academic subjects, based on feedback from the educational field and developments in the evaluation of curricula.

His Excellency confirmed that the centre will start the actual application electronically, for the first time, for the International Study in Mathematics and Science (TIMSS 2023), the International Study for the Measurement of Computer and Information Skills (ICILS 2023) and the national tests for intermediate grades (4-7-10) for the academic year 2022/ 2023.

His Excellency indicated the readiness of the centre to test the electronic application for the tenth grade, provided that the complete electronic transformation of the application of national tests for all intermediate grades (10,7,4) in the 2023/ 2024 school year are undertaken.

Dr. Abdullah Ambosaidi spoke about the Ministry’s interest in the private school education sector and the diversity and multiplicity of educational services it provides.

His Excellency stressed the Ministry’s endeavour to provide everything that helps achieve quality in the performance of the 1,046 private school educational institutions, both private and international, and to provide support to them, follow up their performances and overcome the challenges they face.
His Excellency said the Ministry has issued many guidelines that regulate the workflow.  He added that the Ministry is working to continue coordinating with international educational institutions regarding programmes and qualifications, preparing guidelines for programmes and curricula for all levels of study in private schools, preparing their own training seminars and studying requests for the application of international educational programs, enrichment of school stages and their approval, in addition to reviewing and amending the methodological frameworks for a number of study subjects and preparing curricula documents and study plans for the academic year 2022/ 2023.

His Excellency stated that the Ministry is working on composing the unified ministerial curriculum for schools teaching the Holy Qur’an, activating the programmes included in the tenth five-year plan, including the digital transformation of the services of the General Directorate of private schools, issuing an investment guide in private school education with the participation of a number of authorities, and activating the expansion plan in early education stage in Al Wusta Governorate and the oil concession areas.

His Excellency touched on authoring the curricula aimed at developing the learner’s ability to communicate, developing the learner’s research and investigation skills, encouraging him for self-learning and developing the skills of leadership and innovation.  

In his speech, His Excellency focused on the most prominent changes, pointing to their concentration in the eleventh grade, as the total number of study subjects was reduced from 9 to 8 subjects.

The applied mathematics subject was abolished and replaced with basic mathematics, the name of pure mathematics was changed to advanced mathematics and the learning time for mathematics was increased by one class, canceling science subjects from the list of basic subjects (the first group) and making them optional subjects and canceling science and technology subjects from the list of science subjects permanently.

Besides, a condition has been added for individual skills subject, in which “the student chooses only one of the individual skills subjects with the possibility of changing the subject with another subject in grade 12,” and the learning time for all subjects of the second group (specialisation subjects) was increased from 4 to 5 lessons.
About the number of books that have been written or developed, His Excellency said that for the academic year 2022/ 2023, 78 books for different grades have been introduced.

is Excellency added the number of reprinted books has reached 111, many interactive digital contents have been produced in support of the curricula, such as the twelfth grade plastic arts curricula, the sixth grade Islamic education curricula, the newly developed fifth grade life skills curriculum, the tenth grade plastic arts curriculum, and the first and second grades plastic arts curricula.

They were also linked to the barcode (content  electronic content) for the teacher’s guide for the fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and some activities of the sixth grade curriculum were converted into interactive activities and were linked to the barcode (electronic content).

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Khamis Ambosaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry for Education, stated that the Ministry will complete the implementation of the Oman Wajhati program in cooperation with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism to train more than 1,500 male and female students from different governorates on entrepreneurship skills and enable them to establish pioneering student companies in the tourism sector.  It will complete the implementation of the company’s program in cooperation with the Injaz Oman Foundation, and the ‘Khairat My School’ program in cooperation with the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund, with the aim of building and equipping protected homes using the hydroponics and fish farming system in schools, which are managed and worked by students in grades 8-11 in cooperation with professionals.

He said that student company exhibitions will be implemented in cooperation with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, career guidance exhibitions in concession areas will be held and GEDEX exhibition for higher education institutions and other student exhibitions will be organised.

With regard to partnership programs with the private sector, he stressed the expansion of the application of the STEM OMAN program to include 6 new schools in addition to the previous thirty schools and the further expansion of the NXplorers program. The ministry will also work to implement the vision of the new activities so that students can benefit from the activity’s share in a meaningful way.  The Ministry is also completing its role in the field of counseling and awareness through the various programs it carries out in the health and social fields.

In the field of illiteracy eradication, His Excellency said the illiteracy rate in the age group 15-44 has decreased to 0.46%, according to data issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information for the year 2021, and the number of people enrolled in literacy classes for the year 2021/ 2022 has reached 3,124 students. The number of those enrolled in the adult education system for grades 7-12 reached 5,972 students.

The number of students in government schools of whom 368,184 are male students (50.9 percent) and 361,147 female students (49.5 percent) in about 1,242 schools, including 339 schools for the first cycle (grades 1-4), 306 schools for the second cycle (5-10), 489 schools for the continuing cycle, 14 schools for grades 11-12 and 94 schools for grades 10-12, including 383 for male schools with a percentage of 30.8 percent, 227 schools for girls with a percentage of 18.3 percent and 632 joint schools with a percentage of 50.9 percent.

These schools are divided into morning schools and evening schools.  The total number of evening schools is 107, including 68 joint schools with a percentage of 63.5 percent, 22 schools for males with a percentage of 22.6 percent, and 17 schools for females with a percentage of 15.9 percent, and the total of the first cycle schools (1-4) of them reaches 63 schools.  At a rate of 58.9 percent, the second cycle schools (5-10), there are 63 schools with a percentage of 33.6 percent, and the continuous cycle schools (8) with a rate of 7.5 percent.

The number of teachers in all schools of the Sultanate reached 57,033, including 17,396 males (30.5 percent) and 39,637 females (69.5 percent).

The number of administrators and technicians in government schools reached 10,834 administrative and technical, including 4,341 technicians at a rate of 40.1 percent and 6,493 administrative and technical at a rate of 59.9 percent.

Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniya, Minister of Education, raised to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik: May God protect him; his sons, students, teachers and all employees of the Ministry of Education extend thanks and gratitude for His Majesty’s generous and continuous sponsorship of the educational process in the country, and for the great care and attention received, praising His Majesty for his recent supreme directives to provide school requirements for deserving groups.

Her Excellency Minister of Education, congratulated the students and members of the teaching, administrative and technical staff on the occasion of the start of the school year, and welcomed the new teachers who are organising the educational system, saying: I am pleased to take this opportunity to welcome fellow teachers and new teachers who have had the honour to join us in the educational system, including 4,000 male and female teachers,  to contribute to strengthening the work in various sectors of the ministry, which comes within the framework of global trends aimed at providing the education sector with well-qualified teachers, to secure a better future for learners, in order to achieve the goals of the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, and in line with the strategic direction of the Oman 2040 vision on education.

Her Excellency confirmed her follow-up and appreciation for the efforts of the teaching and administrative staff. Her Excellency the Minister said: We have followed with interest and appreciation the efforts made, the effective initiatives and the roles presented by you during the pandemic and the recovery phase, which stems from your deep belief in your lofty message and your professional responsibility towards present and future generations. I am confident that you will continue your efforts to bring about a positive change in learning at all levels, she added. Together, we will continue to ensure that the gains of the pandemic are exploited, and we support policies to empower teachers to achieve the envisaged goals.

Her Excellency Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniya referred to the qualitative shift in the educational curricula, saying the conditions and qualitative transformations that the world is going through today require us all to join efforts and do everything in our power to achieve quality and keep pace with the requirements of sustainable development, diversify sources of funding, and offer educational paths to enhance  the skills of learners and meeting the future needs of the labor market and, therefore, it is necessary to make a qualitative shift in our educational curricula to keep pace with Oman 2040 vision and the digital transformation in the educational learning process.

On the most important preparations for the education sector, Dr. Abdullah bin Khamis Ambusaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, explained that the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation has recently modified and developed the documents for evaluating students’ learning in various academic subjects, based on feedback from the educational field and developments in evaluation of curricula.

His Excellency confirmed that the center will start the actual application electronically – for the first time – for the International Study in Mathematics and Science (TIMSS 2023), the International Study for the Measurement of Computer and Information Skills (ICILS 2023), and the national tests for intermediate grades (4-7-10) for the academic year 2022/ 2023.

His Excellency indicated the readiness of the centre to test the electronic application for the tenth grade, provided that the complete electronic transformation of the application of national tests takes place for all intermediate grades (10,7,4) in the 2023/ 2024 school year.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Ambosaidi spoke about the Ministry’s interest in the private school education sector and the diversity and multiplicity of educational services it provides;  His Excellency stressed the Ministry’s endeavour to provide everything that achieves the level of quality in the performance of the 1,046 private school educational institutions, both private and international, and to provide support to them, follow up their performance and overcome the challenges they face.

His Excellency said: The Ministry has issued many guidelines that regulate the workflow;  to be a tributary to schools in several areas that serve the educational process, the Ministry is working to continue coordinating with international educational institutions regarding  programmes and qualifications, preparing guidelines for  programmes and curricula for all levels of study in private schools, preparing their own training seminars, and studying requests for the application of international educational  programmes for the school stages and their approval, in addition to reviewing and amending the methodological frameworks for a number of study subjects and preparing curricula documents and study plans for the academic year 2022/ 2023.

His Excellency the Professor stated that the Ministry is working on composing the unified ministerial curriculum for school teaching the Holy Qur’an, activating the  programmes included in the tenth five-year plan, including the digital transformation of the services of the General Directorate of private schools, issuing an investment guide in private school education with the participation of a number of authorities, and activating the expansion plan in early education stage in Al Wusta Governorate and the oil concession areas.

His Excellency touched on authoring the curricula aimed at developing the learner’s ability to communicate, developing the learner’s research and investigation skills, encouraging him for self-learning, and developing the skills of mastery, leadership and innovation.  

In his speech, His Excellency focused on the most prominent changes, pointing to their concentration in the eleventh grade, as the total number of study subjects was reduced from 9 to 8 subjects, the applied mathematics subject was abolished and replaced with basic mathematics, the name of pure mathematics was changed to advanced mathematics, and the learning time for mathematics was increased by one class, canceling science subjects from the list of basic subjects (the first group) and making them optional subjects, and canceling science and technology subjects from the list of science subjects permanently, and adding a condition for individual skills subjects, in which “the student chooses only one of the individual skills subjects with the possibility of changing the subject with another subject in grade 12”, and the learning time for all subjects of the second group (specialization subjects) was increased from 4 to 5 lessons.

His Excellency said about the number of books that have been written or developed: the number of books that have been written or developed for the academic year 2022/ 2023 is 78 for different grades, His Excellency added: The number of reprinted books has reached 111, many interactive digital contents were produced in support of the curricula, such as the twelfth grade plastic arts curricula, the sixth grade Islamic education curricula, the newly developed fifth grade life skills curriculum, the tenth grade plastic arts curriculum, and the first and second grades plastic arts curricula.

They were also linked to the barcode (content  electronic content) for the teacher’s guide for the fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and converting some activities of the sixth grade curriculum into interactive activities and linking them to the barcode (electronic content).

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Khamis Ambosaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry for Education, stated that the Ministry will complete the implementation of the Oman Wajhati  programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism to train more than 1,500 male and female students from different governorates on entrepreneurship skills and enable them to establish pioneering student companies in the tourism sector. 

It will complete the implementation of the company’s  programme in cooperation with the Injaz Oman Foundation, and the “Khairat My School”  programme in cooperation with the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund, with the aim of building and equipping protected homes using the hydroponics and fish farming system in schools, which are managed and worked by students in grades (8-11) with professionals.

He said that student company exhibitions will be implemented in cooperation with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, career guidance exhibitions in concession areas, GEDEX exhibition for higher education institutions and other student exhibitions.

With regard to partnership  programmes with the private sector, he stressed the expansion of the application of the STEM OMAN  programme to include 6 new schools in addition to the previous thirty schools and the further expansion of the NXplorers  programme. The ministry will also work to implement the vision of the new activities so that students can benefit from the activity’s share in a meaningful way.  The Ministry is also completing its role in the field of counseling and awareness through the various  programmes it carries out in the health, social and health fields.

In the field of illiteracy eradication, His Excellency said: The illiteracy rate in the age group 15-44 has decreased to 0.46 percent, according to data issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information for the year 2021, and the number of people enrolled in literacy classes for the past year 2021/ 2022 has reached 3,124 students, and the number of those enrolled in the adult education system for grades 7-12 reached 5,972 students.

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