600 Omani kindergarten teachers to undergo training

Energy Wednesday 18/April/2018 21:46 PM
By: Times News Service
600 Omani kindergarten teachers to undergo training

Muscat: In keeping with the Sultanate’s Omanisation policy, 600 Omanis will be trained as kindergarten teachers to work in private sector schools.
The programme, which provides international qualifications to these teachers, is being run by the International Gulf Institute of Administration and Technology, in collaboration with the Scientific University of Malaysia, Petroleum Development Oman and the Ministry of Education.
“We recently signed an agreement with PDO to train some 600 Omani women in the field of kindergarten teaching,” said Dr Ahmed Al Farsi, founder of the International Gulf Institute.
“Before the teachers enter this programme, we need to ensure that there is a school that takes them,” he added.
“This is a three-party commitment, which comes from the teacher, who promises to work hard and not just come in and leave in the middle. There is also a commitment from the Ministry of Education, where there is a need for a certain number of teachers at schools every year.”
The idea for the programme came from the Ministry of Education as around 80 per cent of the teaching jobs are held by foreigners. “We discussed why there were so many expat teachers in these schools,” recalled Al Farsi. “The answer was that the Omanis didn’t have the skills and the knowledge, and after we did a survey, we found that teaching pre-school children did not require a university degree. What is necessary here is mainly the emotional and psychological skills to deal with these small children.”
“Our intention is to have this programme covering all the governorates of Oman, but we made Muscat our starting point. Some 250 are entering the first batch, and another 150 will begin next week, so we will have this summer programme for 400 candidates,” he added. The remaining candidates will be accommodated in later batches.
“We need this programme to cover all of Oman, because there are schools all over the Sultanate, and if we find there is more need for teachers, we will extend it.”
The programme features 12 modules, which will be taught over months, in addition to an extra month of on-the-job training.
“These 12 modules cover all the aspects that are required for teachers to interact with children in the classroom,” explained Al Farsi. “These include IT skills because they are needed today, communications, safety in the classroom, English language courses because kindergarten schools have a mix of students, psychology, as well as the delivery of training and teaching methods.”
“There is also a childhood law that teachers need to know, and emotional skills,” he added. “At this age, small children learn from their teachers by watching them, so how teachers behave will stay in their hearts for a long time. This also includes preparation of assessment reports, and, most importantly, health and safety, because this is an environment where children could get hurt and we need to know how to take care of them.”
“Teachers will be give pre-school teaching vocational diplomas,” added Al Farsi. “We have experts from Jordan who will deliver the course. We have two main facilities: one is the Seeb International School, and the other is the training centre of the Ministry of Education in Al Khuwair. The economy has shrunk a bit, people are facing so many financial problems at the moment. If we do not help our fellow people, they will struggle for jobs and they will face many problems.”