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Title: Educational reform in Oman : policy context and teachers' attitudes
Author: Al-Nuaimi, Tareq
ISNI:       0000 0001 3407 6749
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2002
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The purpose of the study was to explore the main problems that teachers encounter in their daily lives in the Omani schools. Despite teachers problems have been researched in many developing and developed nations, these problems have up until now never been researched in Omani schools. The relevant research indicated that teachers are adversely affected by the economic and social conditions of a society, which in turn affect their roles and affects pupils' academic performance as well. This was indicated in the experience of some Asian and European nations. As a result, to solve and improve performance, developed and some developing nations made serious attempts to reform teacher's social and economic status. Also, they went further by refOrming school environment (e,g, reducing class size) and enhancing the home school relationship as an important issue in refOrming educational poliCies. The ideas for this research were based on the World Bank and Ministry of Education reports that identified problems in the educational system in Oman. To explore the main problems that affect teachers' performance, the researcher selected a large sample (50/0 of the total population of male teachers) of teachers (as the main sample in the study). the total population of the principals of educational areas, and purposive samples of parents, schools principals and school teachers. The study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to reveal the problems that were investigated. The questionnaires were handled to teachers and the principals of the educational areas. Semistructured interviews were also used with teachers, parents and schools principals. The outcomes of the field survey indicated that teachers have a good relationship with the schools' principals and with their colleagues as well. By contrast, the majority of teachers in the sample are dissatisfied with the salary, the annual salary increment and the opportunities of in-service training. Teachers also indicated that large class size produces adverse effects on teaching practice and on the Omani pupils' academic performance. With regard to the Omani pupils' performance, teachers indicated that the aspects that are most affected by large class size are: amount of individual attention, the assessment and standard of work. Teachers considered the issue of class size as one of, or indeed the most important issue for them and for enhancing the academic performance of the Omani pupil's performance. Teachers indicated that they are dissatisfied with Omani parents contact with school. They attributed the lack of home-contact with the school to many factors, e,g. illiteracy among parents. disregarding of the value of education for the future of their sons.The principals of the educational areas emphasised the same issues that teachers raised in the questionnaire namely: weak home contact with the school. large class size and lack of in-service training. The semi-structured interviews revealed that Omani parents are dissatisfied with the perfonnance of the Omani teachers. Also. they indicated that the lack of the necessary facilities and curricula improvements, are serious problems that have adverse effects on teachers' and Omani pupils' perfonnance. Schools principals believe that the economic condition of Omani families and ignorance among Omani parents are serious social impediments that hamper them from contacting schools and to followup their child's academic progress. Alongside these home-school problems, the school principals indicated that the Omani pupils perfonnance has been worsening and the Ministry of Education must introduce an effective policies that support and enhance teachers perfonnance and improve the Omani parents awareness of the value of education. The outcomes of the teachers' semi-structured interviews indicated that most of them are not optimistic about the future of education in Oman unless the Ministry of Education introduces qualitative improvements. It was concluded that there was an urgent need for an appropriate balanced policy that takes into account the point that expanding the educational services must not be at the expense of the quality of education system in Oman. Also, I concluded that refOrming teachers' status and teaching perfonnance must be the starting point in any prospective improvements policy. Moreover, I concluded that improving the social awareness of the Omani parents of the importance of education must be an essential input in improving the perfonnance of the Omani pupil perfonnance and to bridge the gulf between the home and the school.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available