According to the 2014 United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) report, Oman has been ranked 56th out of 169 countries, putting it in the category of a high human development nation. In the report, the HDI is explained as a “composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development — a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.”
“Oman spends lot of money on health and education and these services are provided for free,” says Shamsa al Harthy, Director of Associations and Community Clubs at the Ministry of Social Development. She explains that this is one of the biggest factors which has contributed towards Oman’s good ranking in the international index.
“Education is not compulsory by law but people still choose to put their children in schools voluntarily. The government is trying to close the gender gap in education by encouraging both boys and girls to enroll in school from class 1 to 12,” she says.
Ahmed al Mukhaini, an independent researcher and public policy analyst, who has done a lot of work regarding Oman’s educational system, thinks that while Oman has fared well in the index, it can do better in the future.
“In terms of general education, Oman has done very well and it is doing very well,” he says. “But in terms of tertiary education, Oman has some challenges and the main one is qualitative education as was recognised by the World Bank and the Ministry of Education in a 2012 study.”
Source: Oman Daily Observer – read more