The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Education, took part on Wednesday in a meeting about resumption of learning at schools in Arab states.
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The meeting saw the participation of other education ministers from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, heads of UN agencies and regional organisations like the Arab Organisation for Education, Culture and Sciences, the Islamic World Organisation for Culture and Sciences and the Arab Education Bureau.
The aim is to enable all children to resume their learning march with proper standards of quality as stated in Education Agenda 2030. It also aims to determine basic areas of cooperation at the regional and national levels with a view to supporting children and compensating them for lost time.
This is in addition to contributing to decision making at a national level about the most suitable methods and practices to start the new school year 2020-2021, while at the same time protecting the safety of school children, teachers and the community.
Dr Madeeha in her speech lauded the efforts of the Unesco and affiliate organisations in organising the ministerial meeting which coincides with exceptional conditions when the world is facing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. She underscored the need to exchange expertise and experiences between member states in areas of educational work and to integrate efforts towards the formulation visions that serve the future of education.
Dr Madeeha pointed out that, right from the outbreak of the pandemic, Oman has taken necessary measures and precautions to complete the school year 2019-2020 by finding alternatives for the assessment of student results and means of their promotion to higher classes, while at the same time endorsing an internationally approved method of Statistical Treatment of Class 12 students performance.
As for options to start the new school year 2020-2021, the minister said that the Sultanate studied a variety of alternatives to ensure the continuation of education for all students to keep in line with the 2030 Educational Agenda.
Accordingly, the Sultanate took a decision to make the forthcoming school year an exceptional one for Blended Learning, which is “an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods”, including electronic platforms and television channels, in a manner that realises the goals of Oman Vision 2040 – among them securing fair and comprehensive education that instills scientific innovation in students.
Dr Madeeha spoke about the efforts exerted by the Ministry through the issuance of a General Framework for the Operation of Schools which taps the best regional and international practices in the field.
The General Framework of Operation also comprises precautionary measures to be pursued at schools to ensure the safety of students and the teaching and administrative staff, she added.
Dr Madeeha reaffirmed that the Sultanate perceives the formidable challenges posed to educational systems in countries of the world – both advanced and developing – and the need to find innovative solutions to limit educational waste among students and to earn them basic skills, knowledge and values.
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