State Council gives assent to ‘Language policy’ proposal

MUSCAT: The State Council on Tuesday approved the proposal of the ‘Language policies of the Sultanate, its realities, challenges and mechanisms to develop and activate them’, and formed a technical drafting committee to append the comments of the members to the proposal.
The session chaired by Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri, Chairman of the State Council, approved the ‘Draft provisions for draft laws submitted by Oman Council’ and included the comments of the members pertaining to it.
Dr Al Mantheri, in his opening speech reviewed the agenda, congratulated the members on the advent of the holy month of Ramadhan. He prayed to Allah for the good health and well-being of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and to bless the Omani people with goodness and progress.
The Council then discussed the proposal submitted by the Special Committee on ‘Language policies of the Sultanate, its realities, challenges and mechanisms to develop and activate them.’
Rayya Salim Said al Mantheri, Chairperson of the Committee, explained that the Arabic language has an influential role in the civilisation development and contributes to enrichment of Arab heritage and various cultural and intellectual progress. She noted that since Arabic language symbolises the national identity, it should receive deserved attention, in the light of the various new developments and variables that directly or indirectly affects thinking and culture.
She said, “The importance of ensuring the adequate importance to Arabic language in this era of technological development has multiplied, especially in the light of the need to enhance the Arabic content on internet, to support the requirements of the knowledge-based economy. This global trend is today the focus of many countries to rely on the mother tongue to enable cognitive growth, creativity and innovation.”
She noted that special attention has been accorded to the Arabic language by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos by placing firm interest on it in education and development not only at the national level but also at the global level.
The proposal identifies the reality of the language policy in the Sultanate and the commitment of the parties and individuals to use the Arabic language in various fields.
The topic for the proposal was approved at the thirteenth plenary meeting of the third annual session of the sixth period of the Council and a special Committee was established.
The Committee has hosted several specialists and stakeholders to identify the efforts of the various entities in order to promote the proper usage of Arabic language in transactions and correspondence, in addition to identifying the main challenges and shortcomings in this aspect and suggest ways to address them.
The study also included some Arab and international experiences in the field of protection of the mother tongue.
The study had concluded that there was a need for a law to protect and empower the Arabic language and to identify a monitoring body for the implementation of the law, in addition to proposing recommendations for strengthening the role of the Arabic language in supporting the economy and the knowledge industry.
The Council approved the proposal following discussions by the members to ensure that their observations would contribute to enhancing its results.