Positive Health, Education Indicators Show Sultanate Achievements in Childcare

The Sultanate’s population has

increased by 0.4% between 2012 and 2016 in which the number of

children below 17 years by mid-2016 is recorded to be 1,006,651. This

is 41.5% of the total population, according to a data released by the

National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). This is being

seen as a positive indicator of country’s achievements in the childcare.

These statistics, which are released about children are first in

the series of social statistics issued by the NCSI during 2018. They

show that the birth rate rose by 21.8% between 2012 and 2016 to be

33.7 live births per thousand while the total fertility rate of women was

4% in the age group of 15 and 49 years compared with 3.7 live birth to

a woman in the year 2012.

In 2016, the infant mortality rate was 11.7 children per 1,000 live

births while the under-5 mortality rate was 9.2 children per 1,000 live

births.

The proportion of children born below the normal birth weight

decreased slightly in recent years, reaching to 9.4% in 2016, compared

with 9.5% in 2012 whereas the ratio of children under five years of age

who suffer from calorie-related malnutrition reached to 1.8% in 2016,

which was 4.6% in 2012.

The number of diarrheal diseases among children under five

years of age, as registered by the Ministry of Health, was 232 per 1,000

children in 2016, compared with 254 in 2012.

A total 92 cases of overweight and obesity among children under

five were registered in 2016. Of them 67.4% were male and 32.6% were

female. About 47% of children under 5 years of age were found obese

in the Governorate of North Al Batinah, followed by 13% in the

Governorate of South Al Batinah and 11% in the Governorate of North

A’Sharqiyah. There were no such cases registered in the Governorates

of Musandam and Al Wusta.

The number of children with disabilities was 8,381 children in

the year 2016. It was 24% of disabled cardholders. Al Wafa

Rehabilitation Centres for Disabled Children receives both male and

female children between the age group of 2-14 who have various

disabilities, such as minor and moderate mental disabilities, and

disabilities in movement. The number of these centres has reached 26,

which is spread in all governorates of the Sultanate where there were

1,994 children enrolled by the end of 2016.

In addition, there are 11 centers of the Association for the Welfare

of Handicapped Children where 360 children were enrolled in 2016; of

them 208 were males and 152 females.

In regards with the situation of education, the data for the

academic year 2015/2016 indicates that the number of students

enrolled in schools reached 567,607, which is a gross enrollment rate

of 101.4% in class 1 to 9 and 95.4% in class 10-12. The net enrollment

ratio for class 1-6 was 98.3%. For class 7-9, it was 95.6% whereas for

class 10-12, it was 85.6%.

During the academic year 2016/2017, there were 48,630 students

enrolled in kindergartens who constituted 4.8% of the total children of

the Sultanate. Around 96% of children of the country were enrolled in

the kindergartens of private schools.

In regards with the social situation of Omani children in 2016, the

number of the children who were enrolled in Omani Women

Association’s facilities was 6,997 children. The number of children

enrolled in nurseries reached 8,100 whereas the number of children

enrolled in the child development homes was 1,287. There were 439

children enrolled in the rural development centres, 269 with the

nursing families and 135 in the childcare centre.

As far as the cultural care is concerned, the number of children

who visited museums reached 42,029 in 2016. Majority of them with

82% visited the National Museum, the Children’s Museum, the Sultan’s

Armed Forces Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

The television and radio broadcasting hours for children’s

programs was 2,468 hours in 2016. The ratio of such government and

private television programs reached 86%.

With regard to the security situation, the number of juvenile

offenders in the age group of 9-17 years was 765, which is 3.7% of the

total number of offenders in 2016. It is a decrease of 12.7% over the

number of year 2015.

From among these juvenile delinquents, 95% males were found

involved in money related crimes. Their number increased by 49.3% in

2016 compared with 48.7% in 2015.

Source: Oman News Agency