Private education makes big leap towards academic excellence

Muscat, Oct 2 – The Department of Private Schools is making a big push in keeping up with the latest education developments in an effort to comply with the global teaching standards. In an exclusive interview with Oman Observer, Fatma bint Abdul Abbas al Noorani, the Director-General of Private Schools at the Ministry of Education, said there has been a considerable progress in private schools to improve the teaching of curriculums.
“The ministry has taken private education in Oman to a different level. We are constantly monitoring private schools to make sure they comply with the acceptable standards. It does not mean we impose on them, but we work together with school owners to improve the quality of education,” Al Noorani told the Observer.
She explained that the partnership of merit between the ministry and private educators in the past decade has paid good dividends.
“For example, we consult school owners on our by-laws so they can contribute their opinions and advices. The by-laws give them the support and guidance they need to make progress in the right direction,” the director-general pointed out.
“We fully acknowledged the challenges they face as providers of private education. So, it is important for us to offer our advice, and at the same time attend to their needs. These meetings also are aimed at informing private schools owners of the importance of adhering to the general requirements to improve their services and quality of education to comply with the 21st century needs as well as fulfil students’ and parents’ aspirations,” she said.
She also emphasised that private schools play a crucial role in the development of the country and the ministry always seeks ways to move forward by following international practices. It also aims to develop teaching methods in order to provide students with the scientific knowledge, practical skills and methods that will help them be innovative for the benefit of the country.
“Right curriculum and good teaching methods will make our students well-prepared for higher education and eventually compete better when they go look for jobs. A sound basic education is what is needed to develop a nation,” the director-general added.
Statistics show the number of students in private schools in the new academic year 2017-18 increased by seven per cent to 110,078 compared with the same period last year.

Saleh Al Shaibany