Building better schools: One teacher for every 11 students in Oman

Energy Wednesday 13/November/2019 21:57 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: There is one teacher for every 11 students in Oman, ensuring that pupils in schools get proper attention and receive good quality education for the future, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The NCSI said that there were, on average, 26 students in each class, which helps form the right building blocks of their education, which is rooted in solid foundations.
NCSI data reported that there were about 418 students on average in every school in Oman, with there being a huge jump in the number of those seeking enrolment into first grade. The number of newly enrolled children in the first-grade classes regardless of age, reached 101.3% in the academic year 2017/2018.
Public school students make up 75.3 per cent of the total school students in Oman, reaching a total of 606,153 pupils, followed by private schools contributing 14.4 percent of the total school students in Oman, reaching 116,483 children. International schools (foreign communities) accounted for 7.9 per cent of students, with the numbers reaching 63,391.
Other kinds of public schools have 2.3 per cent of the total school students in Oman, reaching 18,777 students, while special education schools reached 0.1 per cent, with 525 students.
Indian schools in Oman have also aimed at increasing the number of teachers available to educate students, enabling children to perform better at school.
An official from the Board of Indian Schools in the Sultanate of Oman said that plans were underway to increase the number of teachers in schools, so that they could improve the teacher-student ratio. This would be tackled once more infrastructure has been built to accommodate the increasing numbers of students seeking admission in Indian schools.
“We have, at present, about 46,000 students across Indian schools in Oman, and about 2,000 teachers, so that makes it an average of about 23 students in a class,” said the board member. “We have plans to set up more infrastructure for the Indian school system, because that is the need of the hour. To us, the hiring of new teachers is not a problem, because we are confident that we will get good teachers,” he said.
“We have already set up a new school in Bausher with state-of-the-art facilities, and we have already allocated land in Jibroo for a new school,” he added. “Our aim is to get the student-teacher ratio to about one teacher for every 15 students. One teacher for every 11 students might be a bit difficult in our case, but we are definitely targeting 15 to 16 students per teacher because we believe this is quite doable, especially over the next two or three years.”
The board member also said that there was an infrastructure committee at board level, which would advise on the changes that needed to be made in schools, in keeping with international standards and the options available to them.
“The infrastructure committee looks at all the schools, inspects them, and sees which ones need updating, because we are now in an era where we need to promote 21st century learning,” he said.
“In terms of the new school in Jibroo, we have already approached a consultant who will tell us the best way forward, and once that is done, with the help of the community, we can proceed with this project,” he added.