- Second batch of UK-based geography teachers to visit Oman in early 2019 to create a series of teaching resources tailored to the UK National Curriculum
Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), the government’s executive arm for the development of the tourism sector, has partnered with the educational not-for-profit foundation Outward Bound Oman on a unique project that will raise awareness of the Sultanate as a tourist destination in UK, a key source market.
Established by ministerial decision, Outward Bound Oman works throughout the Sultanate at a grassroots level to build the capacity of the human resource of the nation. Using the mountains and deserts of Oman, the organisation places an emphasis on developing key life skills and work ethics, and strives to raise awareness of environmental and resource sustainability amongst young people in Oman.
Over the past 12 months, Outward Bound Oman and OMRAN have been working closely on a new, two phase project to create two up-to-date, online educational resources -one specifically about the Sharqiya Sands, and the second that compares Oman and the UK, called ‘Discovering Oman’. The project will create a series of online teaching resources tailored to the UK National Curriculum for use in the classroom to build a long-term understanding of the Sultanate and the Middle East region amongst students in both primary and secondary schools throughout the UK.
The first phase of the programme saw a team of primary and lower-secondary school geography teachers from the UK visit Oman for one week in January 2018. Working in partnership with the award-winning team of geography teachers at The British School Muscat, the team visited Outward Bound Oman’s recently completed national training centre in the Sharqiya Sands. They also spent time in Muscat meeting key officials before returning to UK to design their lesson plans, that will be linked to the teaching curriculum.
On September 26th, the first phase of the plans were launched at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London, where workshops were delivered to show teachers how to use the resources. From 1985 to 1987, leading scientists from Oman worked alongside a team from The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to undertake an extensive biological and geographical survey of the sands, making them one of the most intensively studied arid environments on earth. In 2017 the Society’s online resources for schools were in high demand, with the school pages being viewed in excess of one million times over the course of the year.
British Ambassador to Oman, Hamish Cowell said that ‘this project is another great example of the breadth and depth of UKs long-standing relationship with Oman. These resources will help embed knowledge of Oman into young people’s educational learning, and help promote Oman as a tourist destination for British holiday-makers.’
Qais Al Hosni, Head of Government and Corporate Affairs at OMRAN, commented: ‘As the executive arm of the government for the development of the tourism sector in Oman, OMRAN plays a key role in driving the growth of tourism in The Sultanate through major developments and investments that align with the National Tourism Strategy 2040. A key element of that growth is increasing people’s awareness of Oman as a destination, and the Discovering Oman project will help embed and promote Oman year on year in one of our key markets’.
Phase 2 of the project will see a team of secondary geography teachers visit Oman early in 2019 to undertake their own data collection, and produce their own lesson plans targeting older students.
© Press Release 2018