New school year begins for 604,767 students

MUSCAT: Public schools across the Sultanate will receive 604,767 students — a 16,428 increase over last year — on Sunday for the academic year 2018-19. Out of the total number of students that the Ministry of Education will receive, 304,050 are boys and 300,717 girls. They will be studying in 1,159 schools, which is 30 more than last year. The number of basic education schools has reached 1,032. The number of schools from grades 10 to 12 is 107, which is eight more than last year, while the number of schools for grades 11 and 12 is 20, which is six less than the previous year.
This year, the number of teachers reached 56,091, and administrators and technicians 10,868.
Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, in her speech, congratulated all educators working in the field of education and the new teachers.
She said, “As we all start a new school year, I am pleased to congratulate you on this occasion. I pray to Allah to bless this year and to grant us all success and accomplishments of all ambitious goals in all levels of education, to build the generations of our country in various scientific, skill and value aspects. And to enable them to serve their country and raise it under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, may Allah preserve and guide him.”
“I am pleased to congratulate all new teachers who joined the educational family this year,” she said.
She said the Ministry of Education will launch the Sultan Qaboos Award for Sustainable Development in School Environment this year.
The award aims to consolidate concepts of volunteering in students and activate their roles in education and sustainable development, and equip them with the skills of the 21st century to deal with contemporary issues and challenges.
The ministry, said Al Shaibaniyah, has completed its preparations for launching the ‘Educational Excellence Award for the Omani Teacher’. Nominations for the first round of the award will be announced this year.
The Minister of Education addressed the latest developments in the curriculum. “In order to accomplish the objectives of basic education, the ministry has adopted ‘The Global Chains’ project in teaching subjects in accordance with international standards.”
This year will see the implementation of the Global Chains project for students of fifth and sixth grades in order to raise their educational competencies.
The ministry will continue to implement the second phase of training plan at the beginning of this year, to include all teachers of different subjects from first to sixth grade.
She said the Specialized Centre for Vocational Training for Teachers will continue to provide its strategic training programmes to all its staff members.
The ministry is preparing to celebrate the graduation of the first batch of more than 1,800 graduates who have successfully achieved the requirements of the various programmes offered by the centre.
These programmes include the best international practices
based on international studies and experiences.
Emphasising the role of private schools in promoting values and developing students’ skills, she said the ministry will start implementing private schools’ classification project as per national and international standards.
“The classification process will be carried out in an experimental manner in all schools through impartial teams to ensure credibility of the evaluation,” she added.