National Workshop on Observatory
Muscat, 15 October 2012 – UNICEF Oman and the Ministry of Education jointly commenced today a 3-day national workshop on the development of an Observatory on Education, Vocational Training, and Labour Market.
The development of an Observatory on Education, Vocational Training, and Labour Market is part of the ongoing programme of collaboration between the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The main aims of establishing an Observatory are to strengthen linkage between education and vocational training outcomes to employment and labour market needs. It will also support building national capacities to undertake sub-sector diagnosis and policy analysis, and to prepare comprehensive national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plans aligned with the national education system.
In addition, it will provide strategic information to policy makers, managers of education and training institutions, employers, guidance and counseling personnel, and for individuals seeking orientation in education, training and employment including persons with disabilities, and increasing to support gender equality. The Observatory will serve both the public and the private sector; it will assist in the development of standards for various types and levels of training, certification and quality assurance based on systematic monitoring and assessment. The Observatory is expected to contribute to the improvement of school-to-work transition.
A survey was conducted in October 2011 to gather existing data in order to process and analyze trends in education, training and labour markets, with special attention to the impact of current and anticipated economic and social changes. The survey aimed to explore the views of national authorities, agencies and stakeholders concerning the scope of the Observatory’s tasks.
Today’s national workshop brings together relevant officials and stakeholders from the Ministries of Education, Higher Education, Civil Service, Manpower, Interior, Social Development, Shura Council, State Council, Sultan Qaboos University and the Chamber of Commerce. The workshop is expected to provide an opportunity for consensus building on a number of factors for the development of the Observatory and would also serve to present and discuss further issues to be explored as highlighted in the survey report.
The development of the Observatory meets one of the pressing concerns of youth in Oman, quality education that can enhance chances of employability.
The next phase of the development of the project entails defining the main indicators, data sources, and the setting up of the database for the observatory.
Launch of the child friendly version of CRC booklet "I know my rights"
Study on the Development of Youth Friendly Spaces in OmanGiven that youth represent a large number from total population in Oman, an assessment was conducted on the possibility of developing youth friendly spaces (YFS).
The YFS aims to raise awareness, improve knowledge and behavior about different youth concerns like HIV/AIDS, road injuries, drugs and other social issues as well as Improving access to and utilization of adolescent sexual and reproductive health services. It will also guide young people to find good sources of adequate information. YFS strengthens the referral system to health services if needed with confidentiality and highly promotes media participation and involvement in current youth issues and highlights their contributions to the society which will lead to youth empowerment and participation.
The study indicated that young people had many concerns such as lack of safe space to practice their daily activities and development projects. A joint workshop was organized by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health with relevant partners and private sectors that showed willingness in establishing YFS.
This exercise also included meetings with high level decision makers and key stakeholders; a series of focus group workshops with over 170 young people to understand young people’s needs and current circumstances; a desk review of all the relevant documents and studies that have taken place over the previous years; and wrapped up with a two-day workshop attended by high level officials and decision makers from both government and private sectors.
GCC Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey WorkshopFollowing the fourth round of the GCC Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Advocacy Workshop organized by UNICEF Oman in cooperation with the Ministry of National Economy for GCC states and Libya during 27-28 September 2010, a training workshop was conducted during September 2011, enhancing technical expertise of participants on MICS methodology to assess th situation of children and women inOmani society and to monitor progress towards achieving the MDGs.
The workshop was attended by participants from the GCC countries, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria and was facilitated by MICS experts from UNICEF Headquarters and the Regional Office.
MICS is a household survey programme developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women. It is capable of producing statistically sound, internationally comparable estimates of these indicators.
This workshop comes within the framework of the joint programme of work between the Ministry of National Economy and UNICEF. It aims at identifying the multiple indicator cluster survey, particularly its fourth round. It helps review significant data and highlight the gaps between statistical data and indices across GCC countries.