Over the past forty years, the Sultanate of Oman has made headway in terms of ensuring children’s right to education from the age of six in line with the international consensus regarding early childhood development. UNICEF is committed to increasing the chances of education and the provision of Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) in all governorates of the Sultanate. The deadline for consultants to provide technical support in the area of IECD and Education is 21 August 2019.
The education system of Oman is characterized by excellent facilities, good quality services, and sustained high levels of budget investments. Oman has achieved universal primary education and continues to improve in secondary education enrollment which stood at 95.1% in 2016. However, much remains to be done to ensure that gains in learning achievements match the high investment in infrastructure and in recurrent budget expenditure on the education sector. Evidence points out that education efficiency and learning outcomes are inadequate. National and international assessments show that learning outcomes fall below expectations in literacy, science, and mathematics, and that there are sizable disparities between students from richer and poorer households and between urban and remote rural areas.
To match its achievements in universalizing access to education, Oman will need to emphasize education quality and improve teaching-learning outcomes. One of the important means to that end lies in making pre-schooling accessible to all children of 3.5 - 6 years of age; and early childhood development, to all children 0.5 - 3.5 years old.
Lana al Wreikat, the UNICEF Representative in Oman, during an interview for a local newspaper said that IECD also involves children’s health, child protection, food and is considered among the priorities of education in the Sultanate. She added that the IECD work team comprises experts from all the ministries and authorities concerned such as the early childhood education at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), the ministry of social development and the UNICEF office. The work team has reviewed the national policies and strategies governing early childhood development and devised an action plan aimed at enhancing multi-sectoral approaches with a view to ensuring integrated services for developing early childhood.
Under this framework, UNICEF is seeking to hire a consultant to perform the following tasks:
- Provide technical advice to the government on development of an IECD Service Delivery Model and related cross-sectoral IECD Policy
- Provide technical advice and support to Ministry of Education on Inclusive Education
- Provide technical advice to the Partnerships team on Inclusive Education Private Sector Funding
- Provide technical advice and support to UNICEF Oman CO in kick-starting the Country Porgram Development process