Friday, 22 January 2010
Private Colleges in Oman
Recently, there has been a large expansion in the number of private higher education institutions in the Sultanate. Within the last few years, more than 20 colleges and universities have opened their doors to both Omanis and non-Omanis from the Sultanate and abroad to pursue their higher education. Some of these colleges have gained a reputation of excellence such as Caledonian which is according to the people I come in contact with is one of the best (if not the best) higher education in Oman. Its graduates are sought in the private sector for their high skills ( well, that's what I hear, not trying to market the college).
However, many of these colleges are business-oriented and compete for students. Also, a lot are manged by disqualified personnels and Wasta is a prevalent phenomenon. Here is a story from one college. A student graduates with honours degree in information technology, yet he doesn't know how to disconnect from the INTERNET! The guy used his personal connection within the college to obtain "full marks" for some of his subjects, I mean 100%. This same guy also managed to make his friend passes a subject he has already failed its exam.
Also, I was given a whole exam paper for one student to translate so he can understand it well before going to the exam. The paper was of computational topics full of new terminologies. The student admitted that they never studied these topics and cannot comprehend its meaning especially as he is studying in English beginner level. These topics had to be in the curriculum so they don not have to do it again in 1st year of their specialty, thereby can cut short a year of their studies!
I wonder about the role of the the ministry of Higher Education in monitoring the curriculum of the colleges. Such irresponsible method of teaching can't be tolerated. The colleges need to be put under close surveillance or the consequences can be severe for the higher education sector and the Omani society in general.