Education System in Oman - An Overview
The standard of Education and training have improved significantly in Oman since the period of Sultan Qaboos bin Said in 1970. In those times there were only three Elementary Schools in the whole country with 909 children receiving Education from these schools.
Today there are more than 1,000 Schools in Oman, with 90% of them being supported by the Government. Education is available at Primary, Pre- Preparatory and Secondary levels. Normally children in Oman start attending Primary Schools at the age of 6 years, and pass 6th grade examination when they are 12 to 14 years old. After which, students are promoted to Pre- Preparatory School.
Students who pass general preparatory certificate examination, get admission into first grade of Secondary school. The normal age of joining Secondary School is 15 to 17 years. After successful completion of Secondary Education, students opt for advanced training at specialist Colleges or pursue Higher Education from Universities. Education is also available for children with special needs.
Oman has teaching institutions for training of teachers. In recent years, Government has also encouraged Industry Houses and Open Private Schools. This has elevated the level of Education in the country. Thus, in the year 2000, there were 132 Private Schools and Kindergartens in the Sultanate providing Pre- School, Primary, Preparatory and Secondary Education.
Recently, Private Colleges have also established to providing Technical and Higher Education at different levels. There are at least 20 Further Education Colleges and Institutes in the Sultanate. In 1999, Oman got its first Women College, the Mazoon College for Management and Applied Sciences, followed after the opening of Al-Zahra College for Girls.
The Government of Oman has also focused for the Education of uneducated and semi- educated people. Adult Education operates in parallel with the regular Education system allowing advanced courses and examinations.
Oman joined UNESCO on February 10, 1972. UNESCO office in Doha in Qatar covers the country. The close association between the Sultanate of Oman and UNESCO were demonstrated by the joint organization of several conferences, including a seminar on the reform of Secondary Education in the Arab states, held in Muscat on April 24 to 26, 2005.