OUTLOOK — By Ahmed Al Falahi — The Ministry of Education, which strives to create a complete studying environment and compatible skills, has recognised the great educational and social responsibility imposed upon it by the community. This is reflected by the high standards of national goals set by the Ministry for the graduating students along the twelve consecutive years.
With this vision, the need to review the educational process is very crucial, and all these requirements entail the selection of qualified faculty members of various disciplines needed for the educational process at various stages of teaching. Here, I would like the Ministry to discuss the requirement of ‘IELTS’ or ‘TOEFL’ for English language teachers.
Everyone, no doubt, agrees with the direction of the Ministry as far as the requirement of a specific level of qualification to meet the needs of employment because the goal is clear. However, I believe that the period of time available to graduates to meet this requirement is very short in view of the fact that the centres that give such a certificate are concentrated in Muscat, and it is not easy for the applicants who live in villages or interiors far away from Muscat to take up the course on a daily basis. This is in addition to the lack of Internet service in many wilayats of the Sultanate for one reason or another, so that the applicant could take advantage of what is available through this source.
The Ministry should exclude the SQU students from these tests as everybody knows that the graduates of this University are very qualified to enter the market in every specialisation? SQU is very keen to provide a whole educational system for its students and the Education graduates have practiced teaching at schools for enough period of time and many reports are made by supervisors to evaluate them.
Why doesn’t the Ministry of Education adopt a comprehensive test for the graduates of English language prepared by language experts and specialists in the relevant department in the Ministry and thus ensure the required levels that it wants to include them in the teaching team?
This is because there are many people involved in the business of conducting the IELTS or TOEFL tests in the various centres that provide this type of tests inside and outside the Sultanate. Therefore graduates could be deceived by these centres, especially with the increasing demand for this type of tests, not to mention the long periods of time required for re-testing again.
To take into account the different conditions of people, the Ministry should adopt this test in the Directorates of Education, and thus, they will not only be able to test the language of the candidates, they will also be able to know the different abilities of the graduates.