Image Credit: Gulf News

Muscat: In an unprecedented move, more than 250 qualified Omani teachers staged protests in front of the Education Ministry in Ruwi earlier this week, demanding employment with government-run schools.

"It is a shame that our educated youth have to resort to the street to ask for jobs after qualifying from the country's top Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)," an SQU graduate said on condition of anonymity.

Written test

The Undersecretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry, Mustafa Abdul Latif Al Lawati, met the protesting unemployed teachers but according to a report in the Arabic daily Shabiba, their protest did not achieve a great deal.

One student, who did not wish to be named, said he was trying for a job with the Education Ministry after qualifying as a teacher in 2005.

"They keep hiring Arabic-speaking expatriates at our cost and that's not fair," he said.

A Ministry official said the procedure laid down by the Ministry of Civil Services was strictly followed for recruiting teachers.

The official said the Omani candidates asking for jobs had failed to pass the written test for the vacant 91 posts with the Ministry in different schools across the country.

"If they insist on us taking entrance tests then what is the value of our SQU degree," one graduate said.

He said out of more than 50,000 people qualifying from the General Secondary School only 2,500 or so students get admission to the SQU.

The Ministry official added the procedure was fair and the Omani candidates were not up to the mark and that was reflected in their entrance test results.