Ministry defends private sector role in schools

MUSCAT: Last year, the Education Council endorsed the Ministry of Education’s suggestion to engage private sector in management of some public schools to encourage the private sector towards boosting investments in the educational sector and to improve the quality of education and boost the efficiency of educational spending. The Education Council’s approval came after the Ministry of Education conducted several studies on the economics of education and the field of operational contracting with private sector institutions.
Studies have concluded that the future of education should be based on the principle of social partnership in financial management. These studies found that governments won’t be able to fully finance the public educational sector in the long-run. The Sultanate, like other countries, should look into finding funding alternatives to support partnership with the private sector, and as a step forward to engage the private sector in funding of education, the Ministry of Finance is studying ways of boosting private investments in the provision of educational services in the Sultanate.
The Ministry of Education confirms its full backing to this, and sees great importance to improve the educational sector and boost its contribution to the GDP.
The government’s spending on education has doubled over the past 10 years; however, students number has also been rising significantly. The Ministry of Health statistics show that more than 85,000 births were registered by the end of 2015, a big increase compared with previous years. In the same context, it is worth mentioning that a number of scientific studies conducted by the Ministry of Education have all indicated the importance of finding novel and sustainable ways of funding education. They also highlighted the importance of empowering the private sector so that it can play a more effective role in education by creating partnerships.