Oman: Education a “Waste of Time”

The qualification system of high school students to university in Oman has never been considered by the locals as a fair system for so many different reasons. The previous ‘Thanawiyah Ammah’ system of education used to be criticised for being one that encourages learning by memorising and was never one that taught the students how to actually learn. Entry requirements for the various higher education establishments exclusively depended on the final mark you got, rare were the places that considered personality or interviewed students as part of the acceptance procedure. However, a few years ago, the government adopted a new system similar to GCSE and A-Level by giving the students the choice to study whatever subjects they desired in high school and then the universities will only consider the grades of relevant subjects and not the average of the total grade. A change welcomed by many, but as we are still undergoing a transitional period, it is natural for bloopers and critical mistakes to take place. This year was not a good one for Oman, the government board exam period had to be rescheduled because of Gonu's attack, and only a very small recovery time was given because of the deadline for applying to universities abroad. The grades and fates of so many Omani students will be uncovered today, when the Higher Education Admission Centre announces its results.

Blogger Amjad was very disappointed by the Ministry of Education, but he thinks that the Ministry of Higher Education is doing a great job. I quote him:

Yesterday the Ministry of Higher Education announced that they've made changes in the admission grades required for SQU programs and other programs, due to the very low marks the students got this semester. The ministry understands that the marks this semester are much lower than the first semester, and so they had to reduce the grades required for joining SQU and other programs. Before the results being out, the requirements were already set but now they're changed because of how most of the marks are messed up this semester.

Blogger ti3gib on the other hand wrote a post fueled by anger as he believes that his 12 years of school were years spent in prison:

For most of the past 12 years, I've been a student studying under the educational system orchestrated by the Ministry of Education. After I've completely finished with it, I took time to digest the value of my time and effort there. Wasted. The people in charge made sure it went that way. This, non-arguably, left me deeply frustrated, which intersects to only one of two paths. Depression and surrender, or Anger. I've chosen the latter, and that my friends, is the factor that bred the anger you see today.

Moving to other topics, blogger Al Maawali thinks that Gonu was only one aspect of the strange environmental changes happening to the climate of Oman, the painful summer heat was missed for a month or so and the autumn season of the south of Oman was late as well, and that does makes us wonder what is happening:

Let's not look far and see how this has affected our own country. We have noticed since the end of last year that winter was delayed. And when winter started, it stayed longer than usual bringing unexpected rain and very strong winds. Summer started very suddenly after that by June which was very late also. And now we hear complaints from people in Salalah about the delay in the khareef (fall) season.

I will leave you with this photograph of the weirdest accident in Oman. Yeah, truck driving is a job that got Omanized.


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