Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman has made giant strides in eradicating illiteracy in the country.
On the International Literacy Day which falls on September 8 every year, Oman, represented by the Ministry of Education, seeks to highlight the efforts made to eradicate illiteracy.
The Ministry of Education is committed to implementing provisions and recommendations of the Arab Decade for the Eradication of Illiteracy (2015/2024), which was approved by the Secretariat General of the League of Arab States so that the member states will become free of illiterates by 2024.
The Sultanate of Oman seeks to provide necessary funding and has developed plans to eradicate illiteracy in the age group of 15-44 during this decade.’
The statistics showed the percentage of illiteracy in the aforementioned age group reached 0.44% by the end of 2023 compared to the same category in 2015. In the beginning of the Arab Decade period, this percentage was 2.2 percent. This is considered a qualitative achievement in eliminating illiteracy in the aforementioned category.
Oman has worked hard since the academic year 1973/1974 to eliminate illiteracy in all its forms - reading, writing, cultural and civil - and has committed itself to the principle of “the right to education for all” without distinction between genders or age groups.
This year, the celebration comes under the slogan “Promoting Literacy in Light of Global Transformation: Building the Foundation for Achieving a Sustainable and Safe Life for Communities.”
With increasing ambition for modernisation and keeping pace with the global changes, it was necessary for Oman to eradicate illiteracy through ‘education and lifelong learning’.
Undoubtedly, this concept is compatible with the stages of development witnessed by the Sultanate of Oman in its drive to achieve Oman Vision 2040.
Based on this vision, the Ministry of Education developed strategic plans, which included special activities to improve literacy rate in the country.
As a result of such efforts, the illiteracy rate in the Sultanate of Oman decreased to 2.60 in the age category of 15 years and above, according to data received from the National Centre for Statistics for the year 2022.
In order to eliminate illiteracy, a number of projects were implemented to strengthen partnerships between official institutions, private sector institutions, and civil society for accelerating the pace of its elimination.
Among the ongoing projects are: Training bag project, which contains basic scientific material used to train teachers to raise their professional level and develop their so that they can raise the academic level of students.
The annual training programme for teachers aims to provide them knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work in the field of literacy. The Educated Village Project, which continues to be spread throughout the various governorates, had a great impact in accelerating the pace of literacy.
So far the number of literate villages has reached 31 until the end of the academic year 2023/2024 across the Sultanate of Oman
The cooperative school project received great support from government schools in spreading literacy throughout the Sultanate of Oman by opening literacy classes and providing external assistance to them.
The literacy plan on the islands and marine villages had a big role in eradicating illiteracy among Omanis living on Al Halaniyat Islands in the Dhofar Governorate, Masirah Island in the South Al Sharqiyah Governorate, the marine villages of Lima and Kamzar in Musandam Governorate.
With the Ministry of Education’s inclination to digital mode, it introduced modern technology for learning through digital applications and adult education by registering students in adult education systems on the educational portal of the Sultanate of Oman.
The registration is carried out through the educational portal, using some social networking sites, SMS messages, television, radio, and official newspapers in the Sultanate of Oman, and activating the WhatsApp service for communication between teachers and students.
It is worth noting that the total number of teachers in literacy centres and divisions in educational directorates in the governorates in the academic year 2022/2023 is 8,631 teachers, while the total number of students in literacy eradication for the past academic year 2022/2023 reached 2,623 students.
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