On the evening of 11th of November 2013, 169 Omani primary and secondary school English teachers attended a graduation ceremony at the British Ambassador’s residence in Muscat to honour their successful completion of the Teacher Knowledge Essentials programme run by the British Council from September 2012- April 2013 and the internationally recognised Cambridge TKT examination. Also in attendance were a number of the Ministry of Education and the British Council officials who contributed to the success of this collaborative project.
The TKT project provides Omani English teachers with a valuable professional development opportunity as well as providing a useful indicator of their current level of teaching knowledge. The TKT Essentials programme and the TKT Exam were taken on-line by teachers across all of the 11 governorates in Oman, the first time that professional development opportunities have been delivered in this way at a national level in the Gulf region.
Paul Doubleday, British Council Director Oman and Yemen said, “This is a wonderful achievement on the part of the participating teachers and an innovative approach to and investment in training from the Ministry of Education. We have been thrilled to have worked with the teachers, Dr Sarah Rich and her team in the Training Centre of the MoE and it has been a valuable insight into meeting teacher training needs.”
Mr Suliman Al Jamoodi, Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Human Resources Development also commented, saying that, “An online training programme has enabled us to reach more teachers across the width and breadth of Oman. The British Council online TKT course has been able to supplement or support our existing training programmes, which are delivered face-to-face. This is another example of how the Ministry of Education is implementing and investigating ways of delivering training to its English teachers.
The project included an extensive research and evaluation component in the form of online surveys, focus group meetings, phone interviews with participants and a group of observers, who had access to the course throughout its entirety. Dr Sarah Rich, Ministry of Education Teacher Training said, ‘The data and feedback gained from this research phase was valuable on a number of levels; it helped support or identify areas of teaching development for teachers in Oman and adjust administration of the programme for the next programme.’
Following on from the success of this endeavour, a further 250 English teachers have been given the opportunity to take the British Council TKT Essentials programme and examination during 2013-14.
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