Monday, February 26, 2007

Horizon newsletter: 2nd article - 1st poetic story

After the last week when my previous article was published as an editorial for the Horizon SQU newsletter, the administration came back to me requesting that I submit another one and an additional story.

And that is what I did.

The poetic story that was approved for publishing can be found on Rapidly Blue under the title Change.

The following, though, is the second editorial that I submitted. I hope you all find it interesting as I hope to hear your suggestions and perhaps constructive criticism about the article.

Thank you all.


A Theory To Practicality

There is an opinion about the higher education system within the Sultanate of Oman, such as the Sultan Qaboos University and the many other private university institutions, too.

The basic idea or concept behind establishing a higher educational system such as a university is to provide the individual with the ability and the knowledge to be able to face future challenges in the economy on one hand and the society or community at a whole on the other hand.

A large number of high school graduates end up either in the Sultan Qaboos University or the many other educational establishments in Oman. But, those who don’t, end up going out f the country to pursue their education for one reason or another and it is said that they gain a better education over there than they do in their home country because not only do they get their money’s worth of tuition, but also that the colleges or universities there encourage them (not all of them) to enjoy practicing the theoritics they have been taught and to mingle along the society which invites debates and a build upon the present state of their perception on the various aspects of the host country.

Yet, this – sadly – is not applied here in Oman for reasons unknown. Would it not help our generations to come to learn the right way along the path of education they choose to take?

For, as Will Durrant – a famous US historian and author – once said, ‘Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance’


Anonymous said...

that is not true.

opportunities ARE there for one to pursue 'debates, workshops, seminars, summer training' etc etc obviously dont know whats going around, so why speak/judge?

theres nothing i hate more than people throwing statements left and right without doing just a little bit of homework before.

SQU graduates are just as competent and competitive as any other student from abroad. The only plus they have is a little more practise with the English language and perhaps a little more confidence. No more no less.

Balqis said...

First of all publish your complete name without hiding yourself behind an "anonymous"
Secondly, what Ali is saying is not false as I myself heard from students here, that sometimes they feel inferior to those studying abroad cause there's many flaws in the programs
Is about time Omanis learn to hear the truth

OmanforLife said...

I would also have to disagree with Anon. I, too, have spoken with current students and past graduates...and while not "all" of them have expressed the opinion of sub-standard education, I would be lying if I didn't say that most of them have made this comment. The comment though is that it is not necessarily an SQU issue...More so a lack of basic education, work habits and organizational skills before attending Uni.
As far as the point of "expanding your horizons"...this is a definite fact. Even those people who are brought up and educated outside the Sultanate of Oman gain a whole new experience/education upon living here...and the same can be said vice versa. Once a person is out of their comfort zone, they will take on new ideas and grasp new concepts in a way that they would not had they been too comfortable to change. And yes, while there are workshops, seminars, training schools/programs, etc, they are not well promoted or organized. I'll give you a little for instance...There was an "open" meeting regarding the current economic situation in Oman. I, as a female, thought twice about attending. (if you ask why, then you haven't been here long enough) My husband, on the other hand went. When he called the secretary to find out what time the lecture was to begin, the man on the phone immediately and defensively asked him, "Who are you and how did you find out about this meeting?" My husband said his name and then began to explain to the man that it is this particular attitude that has to be changed. These meetings are supposed to be inviting and's not a secret society with dues to be paid. Even at this meeting, there was a gentleman who had to prempt his speach by saying that his view do not reflect the reality of the situation in Oman...even though he had the facts and figures to back up his statements. What a laugh.
In regards to the workshops and such, proper advertisement would be helpful, as most people find out about these things only AFTER they've occured (if they've heard about them at all).
Whenever people (omani and foriegn alike) offer their opinions regarding our beautiful country, even if they are not in a positive light, it is better than hiding the truth and being caught in a lie. It's better to be open and state the obvious in order to improve any situation. Hiding and becoming defensive only adds to ignorance...and ignorance in this day and age is a killer. We are not ignorant people...we have opinions and ideas...and we want to build a better Oman.
So I say...state your opinions openly and freely...with intent to make a positive difference.
As for the education system...the beginning is a wonderful place to start.

Anonymous said...

"What's in a name", as Shakespeare would say..

One should read the essence of someone else's post rather than crticize it just because it was submitted under "anonymous". Surely the purpose of such blogs is to allow interaction and exchange of views regardless of WHO they're from.

Anyway, I totally agree with anon #1. I have seen and worked with graduated from abroad and they are NOT any better than graduates of SQU. If anything, studying at SQU is that much more demanding to prove that they are on par with others.

Why must we feel inferior to students from abroad (and I am sure you mean the "Western" abroad)? It is that confidence and feeling of self worth that we feel is lacking.


The post was directed at SQU graduates and hence the reply. If we were going to talk about the pre-uni education then I would totally agree with you... Hundreds upon hundreds of shortfalls that barely prepare a student to become a decent human being let alone a scholar.

The debates, seminars, workshops etc are part of a culture. Just compare how many people show up to these compared with an Abdullah Bil5air concert. How is this literary scene going to flourish and thrive if the young generations are not born and raised with it as young children?

Sleepless In Muscat said...

Anonymous #1:

I am not referring to 'debates, workshops, seminars, and summer training'.

The post was trying to get the attention of people in the higher educational system as well as the students from those insitutions to make some sort of 'life-altering' change in the way they learn things. Like mingling in the actual social circle to apply their theories.

Balqis: lol. Chill :o)

OmanForLife: I think this has been your longest comment ever. :P

Anonymous #2:

I cannot emphasize more on the importance that you understand that it is the level of education and the system that enable them (graduates from outside the country) to have a better qualification of their degree in many aspects but not so that the local students become inferior to them.

That line should be drawn before anyone gets things mixed up here.

The fact is, our educational system has been running for more than 36 years and there has never been a change applied to it. And this time I am referring to the pre-University phase. People know more of their mother tongue (whether it's Arabic, Swahili, or Balushi) than they do of the current global language of communication: English.

Cheating is also something that needs to be addressed since some of the graduates from SQU get a good percentage by cheating in their high school. Not to mention the fact that certain rates of acceptance are played around with so as not to allow high-achieving females into the University.

Are you going to deny those facts too?

Anonymous said...

Now that would be obvious now wouldn't it? The fact that students know more of their mother tongue than any other language, even if it was English.

Whoever heard of English students speaking fluent French or ggerman or Arabic just for the sake of it?

And where did you arrive at the "fact" that students who get good grades to get into SQU, get them by cheating?

Sleepless In Muscat said...


What I meant was, that even with the 'high standard' of teaching the English language here in Oman, students cannot speak one straight sentence and up speaking like individuals who are in need of speech therapy.

There is no conclusive 'fact', as you say, to that of students cheating to get better grades to get into SQU. However, ask anyone you know from the country and they will support my statement. There is nothing concrete on it because it would mean a bad reputation for anyone who studies there and the educational system in general.

Balqis said...

The Queen of the Pizza never chills :p
There's no essence in someone who hides : is an attitude that says a lot on the person and on his/her arguments