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TEFL Queries for Oman

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Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 2:56 pm    Post subject: TEFL Queries for Oman Reply with quote

Dear fellows,

Could you please reply, if possible, in detail, to these queries of mine!

1. Are my credentials (M.A. English, M.Ed. Education, Diploma in TEFL) and about 20-year TEFL experience, all at college level, though all in Pakistan, not in any enviable country, sufficient for only a college job or for a univ job also? My master is 16 years, not more!

2. How do you compare the placement/job chances, applying through internet and going to Oman personally on visit visa for the purpose, and is the visit visa for Oman easy, for the third-world countries like Pak, and how much is the visit visa cost, its duration, etc.? And is it a good idea to visit Oman now also, when the peak recruitment season is over?

3. Do they generally provide housing, medical, etc.?

Thanks in anticipation!

Haseeb, A Pakistani Lecturer in English
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nomad soul

Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For teachers from the UK, US, Canada, NZ, etc., it's makes no sense to pay for an expensive flight to Oman in hopes of getting an interview and landing a job. (Roundtrip air fare from my US city to Muscat, Oman, would cost me about $1500! Add hotel, transport, and food expenses...) Showing up is hit-or-miss. Moreover, Oman's unis and colleges are spread throughout the country---traveling from one place to another is enough to make one's head spin! So, unless your visit to Oman is a working holiday, then...

I doubt anyone on this forum can say how much you're worth, especially since you're a non-native speaker from a non-English speaking country. Frankly, you need to apply for positions like everyone else. You can find ads on the Cafe's international job board and by doing an Internet search on tefl oman. Similarly, you can do a search on wiki oman universities colleges for a wiki list of all the unis in the country, and then check out each one to see if they're hiring. I suggest you start applying very soon instead of spinning your wheels on this forum with questions no one can answer.
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Desert Camper

Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haseeb, have no fear, you will find a job in Oman with a fair amount of ease. It might not be the best job in the country, but you will be able to land yourself a job. You will certainly be able to secure a college job and may possibly be able to find yourself a university post, most likely at a private institution.

Native English speakers are in a minority in ESL/EFL departments in Oman now, largely due to ever worsening conditions, short contracts, and low pay. Institutes there can attract fewer and fewer native speakers, and those they do manage to attract are becoming more difficult to retain. When I lived and worked in the country I only had a handful of native-speaking colleagues, and the number I have met on visits to the country for holidays and conferences and whatnot since has steadily declined.

My advice would be to contact the agencies to whom the Ministry of Manpower farm out recruitent for their colleges of technology, i.e., CECN, GlobENet, TATI, Bahwan Cybertek, etc. (not sure of the spelling for some of those). They actually prefer to place non-native speakers in the colleges since that way they earn more money. This is as they get a lump sum from the MoM for each teacher they successfully place in a college, no matter where they are from (as long, of course, as they are accepted by the MoM). They can pay a non-native speaker (vastly) less money, of course, so they get to keep an even greater chunk of the money given to them by the MoM (a former occasional drinking partner of mine in Muscat was high up in one of these recruitment firms and used to stress this to me). You will also probably have lower expectations when it comes to housing, too, so they can save more money on that score as well. In addition, you are probably a preferable employee from their point of view since you would be less likely to 'kick up a fuss' on any number of issues and would, past experience tells me, be more willing to surrender your passport.

If you take a look, for example, at the staff list of the ELC at HCT, Muscat - the 'flagship' MoM institution - you will see that there are very few typically 'native' English names there. When I was at a seminar there a few years ago most if not all teachers I met were from India, Pakistan, Jordan, Iraq, and the Sudan. None had been educated in an English-speaking country or had otherwise spent any significant (or any) time in one. This did not appear to have presented them with any problems when applying for the post.

You might also want to look further afield than Muscat. Indeed, I would strongly advise this. I have a Sudanese friend who teaches at the College of Applied Science in Rostaq and who has a contract direct with the MoM. He seems very happy there, certainly much happier than he was at HCT, Muscat with CECN. I also know of non-native English speakers at the private university in Salalah (I think it is called the University of Dhofar). Following on from my friend at Rostaq, you may also wish to look into a CAS post at Sohar, Sur, or Nizwa.

Does it have to be Oman or would you consider other countries nearby? I ask this as I know Pakistani teachers in Saudi Arabia from conferences I have attended over the years and they seem very happy. The country is too restrictive for me and my wife would not be happy there but if you are a Pakistani Muslim then I suppose it may not appear as restrictive to you.

Regarding your second question, most if not all EFL jobs in Oman/the ME come with housing of sorts (or an allowance), health care, flights, and insurance.
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