To commemorate the Arab Day for Human Rights, a workshop was held at Middle East College in Muscat on Thursday, titled "Quality of Education in the Balance of Human Rights". The event was held under the auspices of Dr Bakhit bin Ahmed al Mahri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MoHERI).
The workshop aimed to highlight the importance of the human rights to obtain equitable, comprehensive and quality education for all, which enables individuals to keep up with the changing world and become active participants in society's development. MoHERI and the Ministry of Education organised the event to bring together stakeholders in the education and human rights including civil society organisations, youth, teachers, researchers and academics.
The workshop started with a speech by Amna bint Salem al Balushi, Secretary of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, on the role of education in Oman. She highlighted that education is a basic right for every citizen in Oman and emphasised that the Sultanate of Oman has worked and is still working to implement the standards stipulated in international treaties, agreements and resolutions. She stated that education is a right that requires concerted efforts and the involvement of a wide range of partners and stakeholders for the success of promoting education at the national level.
Dr Maryam bint Belarab al Nabhani, Director-General of Private Universities and Colleges at MoHERI, spoke about the importance of education. She emphasised that education is not just a means of acquiring knowledge and skills, but also a tool for promoting equality, justice, dignity and the advancement of human rights.
Professor Mounir El Fassi, Director of the Human Rights Department at the League of Arab States, in his recorded speech, spoke about the right to quality education as a human rights principle established by the Arab Charter on Human Rights.
The workshop highlighted the challenges faced by education in Oman. The workshop aimed to promote dialogue and cooperation among all stakeholders to ensure the promotion and protection of the right to quality education in Oman.
The workshop included several dialogue sessions dealing with education. These sessions aimed to review the interrelationship of the principle of the right to quality education with other human rights, and its reflection on the improvement of the economic, social and cognitive status of individuals, and to shed light on the most successful local and international experiences with regard to achieving the principle of quality education for all. The sessions covered a wide range of topics, such as quality higher education and scientific research, vocational education and training, life-long learning, non-formal education, alternative care (prison inmates, children of unknown parents, etc.), the use of modern technology and innovation in ensuring the quality of education. They also reviewed the efforts of international organisations to include education as a human right - UNICEF as an example - and presented the most prominent responses in the sustainability of financing education and diversifying its sources, including the private sector and NGOs.
In addition, the workshop included two sessions related to the Arab Day for Human Rights. The first session was entitled 'Legislation, Laws and Frameworks Regulating Human Rights' and included papers from several presenters. The second session dealt with various and different working papers related to the role of international organisations, civil society institutions and the private sector in ensuring quality education for all. The workshop concluded with a discussion by the audience.