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Culture & Tradition

Education

There are quite a few countries in the Islamic world where education is not accessible to everyone. Girls are often disadvantaged in such countries when it comes to education. The situation in Oman is quite different. Here, great importance is attached to education for every child and also to adult education in general. Since taking office 50 years ago, Sultan Quaboos has promoted literacy in the country as well as the creation and planning of universities. In the development of the educational system in Oman, it was very advantageous that the young Sultan Qaboos had studied in England in the British system. Because of this, the Omani education system has strong similarities to the British system – with a particular focus on the high quality of general European standards. The aim of the Sultan was to promote adult education and to ensure that every child enjoys quality education in the country. There are no gender differences – the Omani state upholds the idea that only well-educated women can raise strong and forward-looking children. Sultan Qaboos succeeded in promoting the education of women and was able to reach people who hold on to the notion of traditional gender roles. He did so by arguing that women in a modern world can only perform their duties as guardians of the home and educators of children if they have sufficient education. That way, he cleverly created the opportunity to educate the whole nation uniformly and slowly, and a situation in which gender roles anchored in the older generations can gradually change.