Sunday, January 22, 2012

“PRODUCT VERSUS PRODUCT? Continuous Assessment in the Oman General Foundation Program” by Marie Therese Le Roux

By Kevin Stoda

Upon my arrival here in Oman last September, I was introduced to a new era of reform in education here by reading this article [link below] by a former instructor at the Salalah College of Technology. The article was entitled “PRODUCT VERSUS PRODUCT? Continuous Assessment in the Oman General Foundation Program” and was published in the Salalah College of Technology English Language Centre Journal.

The article was written by Marie Therese Le Roux of South Africa, who not only taught at Salalah College of Technology but who also had completed an M.A. through a British university while working here. The graduate degree program of Le Roux’s involved trips from Salalah to Muscat and also involved the building of nationwide discussion groups (or learning communities with Omani classmates online. The behaviors of the peers of Le Roux give some insight into what Omani students expect of a classroom, expect in terms of classroom conducts for themselves, and how professors or teachers have adapted or failed to adapt to the learning styles prevalent in Oman at this junction in history.

This does not imply at all that Omani’s expect an educational delivery to answer to their beck-and-call. In fact, most of the article is about the need for reform–and many Omani’s involved in higher education would agree with Le Roux’s findings.

http://www.sct.edu.om/web/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=301&Itemid=117

The article by Le Roux is part of an educational reform movement that should be sweeping the different Foundations Programs of the region. Le Roux, herself, made a strong effort to persuade the ministry of education to re institute continuing assessment at the Foundation Level of English before returning to South Africa this past 2011. Some of my colleagues at the SCT already note strong improvements in some classes and in many students level of achievements (and increased self-expectations of themselves as a students).

The article, “PRODUCT VERSUS PRODUCT? Continuous Assessment in the Oman General Foundation Program” by Le Roux, can be found on pp.88 through 102 of the first journal at the link below.

http://www.sct.edu.om/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=745&Itemid=684Salalah College of Technology

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