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New law ensures top-quality education to children

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The New School Education Law, promulgated by the Royal Decree 31/2023, will not only ensure the right to basic education to all children in the Sultanate of Oman, but it also guarantees the highest quality of education at all times.

According to the Ministry of Education, "The new law values the role of the upbringing of generations and underlines of need for developing the education line with the goals of the future.

One of the most important features of the law is Article 26, which states that a guardian must enroll children in the first grade of the basic education stage during the specified date when the child reaches the age of six, which is prescribed for admission.

The guardian should follow-up on his regularity in the study until the completion of this stage, which is age 17.

Article 92 states that if the parent fails to register the child (as mentioned in Article 26 ) without an acceptable excuse within 14 days, the parent shall be punished by imprisonment for no less than a month, and not exceeding three months, and a fine of no less than RO 500. It does not exceed RO 1,000 or one of these two penalties, and no penalty shall be imposed if it is due to negligence (unintentional).

The school administration is obligated to notify the student's guardian of the student's irregularity per the regulations' procedures.

Dr Abdullah bin Khamis Ambusaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Education for Education, said in a statement, "Tighter punishment is intended to bring accountability in the education process and system." One parent countered, "Teachers and parents can disciple children in their own way and there is no need to resort to the law in such matters." Article (91) states that the members of the educational staff shall notify the school principal or his representative of any crime committed within the scope of the school, who shall report to the nearest police station, in writing, within 24 hours of his knowledge of the occurrence of the incident.

Article (59) states that members of the teaching staff are prohibited from applying corporal punishment against students violating discipline.

Speaking to the Observer, Fatma, a parent of four, said, "Some provisions in the law are need of the time like the mandatory basic education for all children and giving option to quality children to get education from any source, including foreign community schools." Article (28) states that a student who excels in academics may be promoted to a higher grade, or more, during the basic education stage in accordance with the controls set out in the regulations.

However, Fatma, like several other contemporary parents, has doubts about the mechanism that will be applied while giving double promotions. The procedures should be fair and ensure that all deserving and exceptional children get those promotions." Article (41) states that non-Omani students may be admitted to government schools, and Omani students can be enrolled in foreign community schools in accordance with the controls set out in the regulations, which as per Article (43), ensures that students have the right to receive a high-quality education that meets international standards, while Article (44) states it is not permissible to discriminate between them based on race, origin, colour, language, religion, sect, place of birth, social status, or any other reason.

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