Muscat: The illiteracy rate in Oman dropped drastically between the first and the last census conducted in the country, according to a study conducted by the National Statistics Centre.
The study has also indicated marked improvement in the educational standards of Omani citizens aged above 15.
The study, comparing statistics and data cited in the Population Census — first conducted in 1993, second in 2003 and last in 2010 — shows that one of the salient features of the educational scenario is a decline in the illiteracy rate from 41 per cent in 1993 to 22 per cent in 2003 and 14 per cent in 2010.
Females constitute three-fifths of the illiterate, of whom 88 per cent are aged 40 and above, according to the government-owned Arabic daily Oman.
The proportion of men and women who can read and write but do not hold any specific qualifications in that age group dropped from 15 per cent in 1993 to seven per cent in 2010. However, the statistics do not indicate any significant differences between males and females.
In turn, the number of holders of various types of educational qualifications shows an increase of 79 per cent in the category of those aged 15 and above, compared to 44 per cent in the 1993 figures.
The number of General Education Diploma (GED) holders recorded 36 per cent in 2010 in comparison to 7.3 per cent GED graduates in 1993.
The percentage of university degree (bachelors and above) holders increased from 1.7 per cent in 1993 to eight per cent in 2010. In this category, the increase was more significant in women’s qualifications, which soared from one per cent in 1993 to eight per cent in 2010, whereas the percentage in the men’s category varied from 2.6 per cent in 1993 and 8.3 per cent in 2010.