The British Council and Ministry of Education (MoE) set up the first online Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) course in Oman in 2012. A total of 200 teachers from the MoE undertook six months of online teacher training overseen by 10 globally based 'e-moderators'. The 'e-moderators' were based in Romania, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and the UAE, making it a truly internationally delivered course.
Teachers across all of the 11 governorates in Oman took the TKT Essentials programme and the TKT exam from Cambridge ESOL online, the first time that professional development opportunities have been delivered in this way at a national level in the Gulf region. Teachers worked in online groups of 20 and were regionally mixed so that experiences and knowledge in teaching could be shared across the country.
Each group also had what was termed an ‘e-observer’, a nominated MoE teacher trainer who was there to provide additional support outside of the course to teachers in their regions. At the same time, he or she was in place to observe the delivery of the course, to get a better understanding of moderating and overall, a greater picture of online learning. Following the completion of the course, the 'e-observers' enrolled onto a moderator course as part of their own continuous professional development.
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.'