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Royal Air Force of Oman.
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carnac



Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 310
Location: in my village in Oman ;-)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another small - well, maybe not so small - benefit. When teaching for the military, you are given a rank as a civilian officer. Hell, sometimes, to my embarrassment, I get saluted in this environment. Grade 4, for instance, is equivalent to Ra'id, Major. This is reflected on your military ID card. How is this a benefit?
Anyone who has been here for any amount of time is more than familiar with the usually painful and boring process of getting a driver's license, or a resident card, for instance. Hoardes of workers in the processing halls wanting the same thing.
You go to a policeman who seems to be in charge (obviously wearing your Western attire) and ask "Excuse me? Can you help me? I need to get this done and I have to get back to work..." and you show your military ID identifying you as an officer. The normal thing that happens is that you are told "Come with me" and you are immediately expedited past the crowd, past the counter, directly to one of the processing offices where, assuming you have correctly done all your paperwork, you are photoed, printed and done. Next comes the wait for the card, but now they know who you are (as if you are something, ha!) and you get called as soon as your card comes available, the mob be damned. It is perhaps important to remember that while you may be treated specially and with some deference, you are not special, just an ordinary person trying to survive like everyone else.
As an aside, when non-Westerners ask where you work and you answer "Ministry of Defense", the response is often "ooooo!" like it is some kind of big deal. It is not - it is a job.
All I am saying is that there are some small perks that come with the card.
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Moi non plus



Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Oh, man

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: RAFO Reply with quote

Re Carnac's comments:

It is not true to say that RAFO is run by people with no educational background. In my time here - almost a decade - I've met several officers (and even a non-com) with master's degrees from reputable British and French universities. They attended full-time courses and did not buy their qualifications by mail order. I've heard British loan service and exchange officers speak highly of some of their Omani colleagues. Things are improving, shway shway.

The practice of recruiting teachers at Grade 6 lasted two or three years at most, from 2003-5, with promotion to Grade 5 after the first year.

Promotion to Grade 4 is indeed rare, but not dependent on wasta. An ex-pat teacher at the Technical College was promoted recently on the basis of his hard work and subsequent good reports from his supervisors.

The 3 x 3 week block leave system applies to the Technical College. Other institutions have different arrangements.

The female teacher who left recently was allowed to leave at a month's notice instead of the normal three months (she had a job offer in the UK), and she followed the normal clearance procedure. She did not have a problem with enforcing discipline; in fact she had a reputation among her students for her strictness.

The standard of catering varies from base to base. I worked on an outstation where the standard of food was consistently high. The same is true of the accommodation; it depends where you are. My current room came with a new fridge, microwave, iron and ironing board, kettle and a flat screen TV. It's not five-star, but it's comfortable.

RAFO doesn't offer professional development to ex-pats, but why should they? There's no guarantee that staff on annual contracts will stay long-term. Anyone who wants to can use some of their ample leisure time - and money - to study part-time and/or online.

The MCT salary is good, but they don't provide accommodation. All things considered, the RAFO package is still one of the best in Oman and indeed the Gulf.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17467
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is MCT for those not already in Oman?

VS
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Moi non plus



Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Oh, man

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Initials Reply with quote

Sorry, I should have said MTC: Military Technical College.
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tennyson



Joined: 18 Mar 2013
Posts: 29
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Informative Reply with quote

I found this one of the most informative threads on the forum. Clear, concise information and not the whinging waffle I 've seen in other discussions. Carnac should be a role model for all posters.
This is from someone who has an interview coming up with RAFO soon and I'm a lot keener after coming across this discussion.

Shukran
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selvatoronto



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject: TATI and RAFO Reply with quote

I can only say ... if this job is offered by TATI... one word BEWARE!

MOD edit
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Moi non plus



Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Oh, man

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: RAFO and TATI Reply with quote

RAFO recruits teachers for the Ministry of Defence; TATI recruits for civilian technical colleges. There's no overlap.
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Moi non plus



Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Oh, man

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:59 am    Post subject: RAFO Reply with quote

Three teachers who've been here for more than 15 years were recently promoted to Grade 4. Omanisation is gathering pace, but RAFO appears keen to retain some native speakers.
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Sleepwalker



Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 415
Location: Reading the screen

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read this thread with interest - any current vacancies?
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simon_capetown



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello

Just wondering if anyone had some current information about working for RAFO?

Specifically referring to working conditions, teaching hours, cost of living, life on the base, savings potential etc.

I'm considering taking up a position there.

Thanks in advance.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 886
Location: Puerto Galera, the Philippines

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_capetown wrote:
Hello

Just wondering if anyone had some current information about working for RAFO?

Specifically referring to working conditions, teaching hours, cost of living, life on the base, savings potential etc.

I'm considering taking up a position there.

Thanks in advance.


Sorry, I can't help you there, but I'd be interested to learn more as well. Based on this thread, which is a bit old and although things may have changed, it sounds like one of the more attractive Gulf gigs.....

carnac wrote:

Anyone who has been here for any amount of time is more than familiar with the usually painful and boring process of getting a driver's license, or a resident card, for instance. Hoardes of workers in the processing halls wanting the same thing.
You go to a policeman who seems to be in charge (obviously wearing your Western attire) and ask "Excuse me? Can you help me? I need to get this done and I have to get back to work..." and you show your military ID identifying you as an officer. The normal thing that happens is that you are told "Come with me" and you are immediately expedited past the crowd, past the counter, directly to one of the processing offices where, assuming you have correctly done all your paperwork, you are photoed, printed and done. Next comes the wait for the card, but now they know who you are (as if you are something, ha!) and you get called as soon as your card comes available, the mob be damned. It is perhaps important to remember that while you may be treated specially and with some deference, you are not special, just an ordinary person trying to survive like everyone else.


Maybe Salalah is different (and I'm not saying it's right), but, when I had to go to immigration to get my residency card, myself, along with all the other Westerners, were shown through immediately. This was despite the fact that there were perhaps five dozen migrant workers who were there before us and were patiently queued up. Like I said, I'm not necessarily saying that that's right. However, when I got my drivers' license at the local police station then that was a bit different. There was a queue number machine and everyone had to wait their turn, except for the Omanis who, of course, invariably didn't bother getting a number and just queue jumped.
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1945

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:56 am    Post subject: RAFO Reply with quote

Recruitment was suspended more than a year ago and there's no sign of it being resumed. With Omanisation gathering pace, employment prospects for foreigners look bleak.
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simon_capetown



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I interviewed with them 18 months ago and they've just recently told me that I have been accepted.

Was just wondering about the job, working conditions and life on the base.

Thanks.
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Moi non plus



Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Oh, man

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: RAFO Reply with quote

RAFO recruits on behalf of all the armed forces except the Royal Guard. The working conditions, accommodation and quality of mess food differ between bases. Some are quite isolated whilst others are near large towns or the Capital Area. You may find yourself living on one base and working at another, and renting a car might be necessary; it all depends on where you're posted. The savings potential will depend on your lifestyle. If you want to drive a Toyota Prado and frequent the expat haunts then your monthly expenditure will be quite high.
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