Recruitment

CfBT offers a wide variety of exciting career opportunities for those who want to make a real difference to the lives of learners. We recruit high-calibre individuals for permanent positions and consultancy roles both in Oman and overseas to support our varied portfolio of projects.

Throughout our history we have had particular expertise in the recruitment and deployment of international English language instructors. All of our teachers are carefully screened and have significant experience of teaching in government schools and colleges in their home countries. Teachers recruited by us will receive a world class Induction Programme for ‘International Educators’. The programme includes 5 modules which prepare teachers for living, working and being effective in an entirely different cultural context. We offer full suite of support services to all teachers including housing, finance, welfare and technical support throughout their tenure.

Some Facts and Figures
Area                              309,500 sq km
Capital City                 Muscat
Population                  4.724 million people(April 2017)
Official language       Arabic
Religion                       Islam
Currency                     1 Omani Rial = 2.09 British Pounds (April 2017)
.                                     1 Omani Rial = 2.44 Euros(April 2017)
Other main cities       Nizwa, Sohar, Salalah, Sur, Rustaq and Ibri

Climate data for Muscat
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.3 21.9 25.2 29.8 34.2 35.2 34.3 32.0 31.4 29.7 25.7 22.6 28.61
(70.3) (71.4) (77.4) (85.6) (93.6) (95.4) (93.7) (89.6) (88.5) (85.5) (78.3) (72.7) (83.5)


MUSCAT – The Capital City


Muscat  is the capital and largest metropolitan city of Oman. Muscat’s economy is dominated by trade, petroleum and porting. The city has numerous mosques including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Ruwi Mosque, Said bin Taimur and Zawawi Mosque. Muscat has a number of museums. These include Museum of Omani Heritage, National Museum of Oman, Oman Children’s Museum, Bait al Zubair, Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, Omani French Museum, Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum and the Omani Aquarium and Marine Science and Fisheries Centre. The main airport is Muscat International Airport around 25 km (16 mi) from the city’s business district of Ruwi and 15 to 20 km from the main residential localities of Al-Khuwair, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Shati Al-Qurm and Al-Qurm.

NIZWA

Nizwa is the administrative centre of the Dakhiliya (interior) region. Nizwa is well known for its fort and for its “souk” or market place. Here you will find everything from live animals to fine gold. It is also near Bahla, which is the home of a fort restored as a World Heritage Site. Just past Bahla is another restored fort – Jabreen – which is furnished to give a clear idea of living conditions in past life.  There are also Western-style hotels with pools and health clubs, and several restaurants.

 

IBRI

Ibri is located in the Dhahira region, south west of Muscat. It is a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Ibri from both Muscat and Dubai in the UAE. Ibri is a small town with limited retail outlets to provide you with the basics you need.  It is close to Bat, which is the site of ancient burial tombs. There are also wadis (dry river beds) nearby, and a wilderness for exploring. There is a hotel with a licensed restaurant, and Nizwa is an hour and a quarter away, where Western- style hotels with pools, health clubs and licensed restaurants are available.

 

SALALAH

Salalah is home for nearly half a million Omanis. Situated south east of Muscat, 1000km from Muscat in the famed Dhofar region, home of the frankincense tree. From June to late August the climate in Salalah is unique as it is the only place in Oman to have monsoon rains. As a result, Salalah is a place where many Gulf citizens go to escape the summer heat. It is also the only place in Oman to grow coconuts and is lush with banana trees. The city is located on a large flat delta, backed by rolling hills. It is the place of Job’s tomb. It is a cosmopolitan city with restaurants, a good range of consumer goods and Western style hotels.

Getting Settled
On arrival, you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel, where you will stay for 2 nights for orientation in Muscat. During your stay in Muscat, you will be taken to CfBT’s head office and training centre for the orientation process, which will be an opportunity to meet future colleagues, ask any questions not covered in this document and deal with some of the documentation. A  visit to  the Ministry will be required by each individual to fill out additional documentation to complete your paper work to start work.
Following the Orientation, you will be driven to the town where you will be working and taken to your temporary shared accommodation .  Either the day you arrive or the morning after, you will be taken to the college to meet the Dean and the Head of Department, see your office and begin to discuss your programme.  You will be given ample time to settle in before you start your lesson plans.

Accommodation
Properties in Oman  range from flats to small villas.
All accommodation are fitted with air-conditioners, you may also be able to get partial or fully furnished accommodation. Single and two bedroom flats are common.
In general properties are let on the basis of a fixed term agreement which cannot be repudiated within the time period of the contract unless parties to it mutually agree. In the event you wish to end the contract upon its expiry it is required that you give three months’ advance notice.  In general the above condition is enforced by many landlords and it is in your interest to notify the landlord in writing.

  • Power is 240 volts with both English and European plugs. Adaptors are widely available.
  • Water is generally treated and is drinkable, although it can taste heavily chlorinated. Bottled water is available at local supermarkets.
  • Gas comes from a gas cylinder, which is provided with your flat. Replacements cost RO.3 – 4 depending on where you live. Refills are readily available from trucks that drive around residential areas. Once you have found a supplier you can take his phone number and arrange for delivery as needed.
  • Rubbish is collected weekly or more often – you must place your rubbish (ideally in plastic bags) in one of the metal rubbish bins you will see along your street. Re-cycling is not yet practised in Oman.

Telephone service and Internet
Connecting to a telephone landline is quite easy as long as there is a line connection already in place. You will need to complete some forms, get a letter from CfBT, pay a fee and in a couple of weeks you will have a line. You can also get a connection to the Internet through this system. Connecting the telephone and Internet takes about 2-3 weeks. You may decide just to use the email facilities at your college, rather than have a landline
Even if you were previously not a mobile phone user, you will be converted as soon as you arrive in Oman. For your mobile phone, getting set up is also easy. A passport or ID copy is required to apply for prepaid mobile service. Currently there are two mobile service providers in Oman, Omantel and Ooreedoo. We suggest opening a line with Omantel if you were to work in towns outside the Muscat area.

Shopping
Shopping is varied. There are several shopping centres and malls in Muscat that provide a variety of clothing, furniture, etc.  There is no “town centre” as such in Muscat; shopping is spread over several centres. The Spinney’s, Carrefour and Lulu are supermarket centres in Muscat where you can find all types of western and Asian food to suit all tastes. Sometimes, with any given item, the range may not be as wide as you are used to and specific goods may be out of stock.   For books, “Borders” bookshops in Muscat has a limited selection and the “House of Prose” has an excellent system for exchanging second-hand books. You could also receive online orders to our postal address.

A reasonable range of leading brands of cosmetics and toiletries can be bought in supermarkets and chemists or an acceptable alternative can usually be found.  If you insist on one brand, it would be a good idea to bring a supply with you.
The Mutrah Souk in Muscat is a must, where you can bargain over Omani silver and artifacts, spices, incense, clothing, shoes and Omani wooden chests, not to mention the gold in the numerous gold shops.

Opening Hours
Shops located in the malls are open from 10am-10pm. Stand-alone shops open at 10am – 1pm, close during the afternoon then re-open at 4.30pm-10pm. Supermarkets are open from 8am-11pm daily. You may find an occasional supermarket and pharmacy open 24hrs.
The weekend in Oman is Friday and Saturday.
During Ramadhan, both working and shops hours may change.

Transport and driving
There are plenty of taxis in Muscat and in the towns, but public transport is limited. There is a regular bus service within Muscat. There are minibus drivers with whom you can arrange to be taken to work and back. There are also “baisa buses” – minibuses, usually very crowded, which ply the roads and stop when waved down. Western women do not usually feel at ease using these.  Sharing taxis is also common, but again many women prefer not to share. Single women are advised to occupy the back seat of a taxi, unless it would mean sharing it with a male passenger.
Taxis are not metered, so you should ask the fare before you begin your journey. Ask friends/colleagues for advice on typical fares; westerners are usually expected to pay more, but often come to a very reasonable monthly arrangement for daily transport to work and back.

Driving Licences
You are permitted to drive hired cars on your current licence for approximately six months then you are required to convert to a local licence.   You will need to request an official signed paper from CfBT and we will help you through the process, which is quite straightforward. It involves going to the local police station and having an eye test.  They will also ask you your blood group.  Driving licenses cost around RO 20. You will need to produce your valid licence from neighbouring Gulf countries, Jordan, USA, Canada, the EU, Australia or New Zealand.  Driving licences from some countries are not recognised by the Royal Oman Police (eg Cyprus, India, Pakistan, Philippines ) in which case you will be required to take a driving test to obtain a driving licence.

Buying or hiring a car
There are many car-hire firms in Muscat and several in the smaller towns; hotels can also arrange this for you. A small saloon car costs approximately OR 150 per month to rent. Before leaving your home country, ensure you hold a valid International driving licence to use initially in Oman.
Second-hand cars can be bought through dealers, supermarket notice-boards, newspapers and word-of-mouth. New cars can be bought on hire-purchase and there are often good buy-back deals.
Owning a car is a necessity rather than a luxury and we strongly recommend that you buy or hire one.  Certainly, most teachers need a car to get to work and non-working spouses will find they need a car to go shopping.

Driving in Oman
Using your phone whilst driving is prohibited unless you are using a hands-free device and if you are caught you will face 24hrs in prison plus a fine.
You must carry your driving licence always and failure to present your licence if requested will result in a fine.
Drinking and driving is illegal in Oman. If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident and there is alcohol in your bloodstream your insurance will be invalidated and you will face a large fine and a jail term.
The use of seat belts is compulsory in the front seats of cars.

Climate
Due to the hot climate, all classrooms, offices and shops are air-conditioned, but the souks are not. Your body may take time to adjust to the fluctuation in temperature indoors and outdoors.

Healthcare
There is no reason to be especially worried about your health in Oman; given a pleasant climate and an interesting life, it can, in fact, be even better than it is at home. Serious illnesses and accidents do occur, but because of the lifestyle and length of time abroad these tend to be the same kind of illnesses you would get at home, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
In the short term, it is common for teachers in their first months in Oman to experience minor coughs and colds as you would at any time when you make major changes to your home and work environment.  It takes time to develop immunity to new strains of bacteria or virus.

Drugs
The laws on possession of all banned, illegal or non-prescription drugs are severe.  It is a serious offence to be found guilty of trafficking drugs or in possession of even small quantities.  Any CfBT member of staff found in possession of drugs will be dismissed immediately.

Emergency services
The ambulance service in Oman is new and the fleet of vehicles with trained staff is relatively small. This means that response times may be less speedy than hoped. The key rule is not to attempt to move an injured person, but in places where the response time is slow you may need to weigh up the risks of moving and decide if it would be better to transport the person to a hospital in your own car.

Dehydration
Dehydration is a risk in such a hot climate in the summer months so you do need to make sure you keep drinking water throughout the day. When possible coconut water is an excellent source of hydration.

Pharmacies
There are many pharmacies in Muscat and the regions and medication could be obtained over the counter. Certain drugs are only provided on a doctors’ prescription.

Places of worship
Oman is considered one of the the most tolerant counties in the Middle East. People are allowed to practice their faiths freely and their rights are protected doing so.

  • The Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul- Ruwi
  • The Protestant Church in Oman (PCO) – Ruwi
  • Devi Kalaka Temple (Hindu) – Muscat
  • Shiva and Bajrangbali Temple (Hindu) – Ruwi, Muscat
  • Shree Ganesh Temple (Hindu) – Ruwi
  • Shree Govindryji Temple (Hindu) – Muscat
  • Tamil Full Gospel Church (Protestant) – Ruwi
  • Salalah Christian Centre – Salalah
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church – Ghala

Registering at Your Embassy
One of the first things you should do when you arrive in Oman is to register with your embassy or consulate.  You will find the nearest embassy on your country website and in most cases, there is an online form that can be completed and forwarded to your embassy. Some embassies/consulates are in Oman, but others are in either Dubai or Saudi Arabia.  Check out your country’s website.

WORKING IN OMAN
Teaching Omani students
Overall, the students are easy to handle. They are friendly, relaxed and good-natured.  Many teachers comment that Omani students are a delight to teach. They are generally responsive, creative, assertive, polite, well-meaning and welcoming to foreigners.
Working Hours

The normal number of working hours is 40 per week
During teaching time:   8 am – 4.30 pm.
Working hours will vary during exams, Ramadhan and in summer.
Leaving College during the Day
Staff are required to be in college when they are teaching and usually up to 4 pm.  However, they may leave to run errands which can’t be done at any other time, provided they have prior permission from the Head of Department.
The Teaching Timetable
Most teachers will teach up to 20 hours, which will largely be made up of double periods. Some will be asked to combine teaching and academic administration, as Coordinators.
Each lesson lasts 50 minutes, so a double lesson lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes. To teach less on a regular basis will quickly be noticed by students, and some of them will complain to your supervisor. Lessons start at 8.00 am and go through to 4.00p.m.
On the timetable, times are given as 8-10 or 11-13 etc. This simply means it’s a double lesson, so you finish at twenty minutes to the hour.  Single lessons, e.g. 9-10, finish at ten minutes to the hour.  Bear in mind that the students may have another double lesson after yours, and will need a break, so try not to over-run.
Ramadhan Times
Lessons are shorter during Ramadhan. Single lessons last 40 minutes and double lessons last 1 hour 20 minutes.  Thus the whole working day will be shorter.
After Ramadhan, there will be the Eid holiday after which lessons revert to the original timetable.

Duties and responsibilities
The responsibilities of the teacher include:

  • Prepare written plans for each lesson
  • Prepare assignments, handouts, tests and other materials for each class and make available to the HOD
  • Maintain discipline on matters pertaining to students’ attendance and conduct, keeping HOD appraised of any potential problems
  • Prepare and proctor student progress tests and exams
  • Correct and grade student work
  • Attend staff meetings
  • Prepare and maintain teaching material
  • Supervise student self-access study time
  • Substitute teach when required
  • Tutor individual students if required
  • Cooperate with the HOD or coordinators in carrying out other academic duties as required, e.g. course material or exam item preparation
  • Establish and maintain a professional and productive working relationship with the HOD and other colleagues
  • Carry out any other tasks as reasonably requested by the College

Standards of performance
You will be observed teaching, and evaluated, by the HOD and/or his representative.  You will be provided with a copy of the evaluation. The first three months of your contract are probationary and the observation is part of the probation period.

Behaviour of staff
Working at an Islamic institution means expatriate teachers must be considerate about how they dress and what they say.  Women should avoid wearing skirts and shorts above the knees. Blouses and t- shirts should not have low necklines front or back. No spaghetti straps or sleeveless tops should be worn without a sweater or shawl .
Being over “liberal” can be very offensive. Basically, teachers are requested to respect the culture and traditions of an Islamic country and refrain from discussing certain topics such as religion, politics or sex with the students.  You should not touch students of the opposite sex or approach them too closely.  Be aware of this particularly in class when monitoring a student’s work.  An expat may shake hands with a woman only if she offers her hand first.
Omanis are generally polite and reserved. Omanis are sociable and always greet each other when they pass in the corridor etc. It is well received if you do the same.
Eating and Drinking
Omanis are social eaters. Eating is an integral part of their everyday lives, whether it be at a wedding or funeral. It is considered impolite not to accept food or drink when offered.
Rules for Ramadhan
As part of practicing fasting during the holy month of Ramadhan Muslims do not eat or drink during the hours of daylight.  The college cafeterias will be closed, as will all restaurants, except in international hotels.  If you wish to eat or drink in the college, it is best to be considerate and do so in your office with the door closed. No alcohol can be bought during this month even in international hotels. Women should dress more modestly during this time in garments with long sleeves (with a high neckline), trousers or long (mid-calf or longer) skirts.

What to do in case of illness

  • Ring to let the Head of Department know
  • Try to get to a clinic or hospital by about 7.15 am or as early as possible to avoid long waits, taking your medical card. Remember to get a medical certificate.
  • Alternatively go to a private doctor and get a medical certificate.
  • Ring the Head of Department again if the absence will be longer than a day.
  • Take the medical certificate to the Head of Department as soon as you return and send a copy to CfBT Muscat marked for the attention of ……… .
  • Absences of longer than 14 days may incur some reduction in pay. See your contract for details.

Leave
Leave is calendar, not working days, i.e. it includes weekend days
. This is often a surprise to staff who are used to “working day” leave arrangements.
Longer leave, unpaid, can sometimes be arranged if the College agrees in advance. However, this is not encouraged as it disrupts the schedule of the college. Most staff take their leave in Summer, between mid-June and mid-August, as this is the hottest period. However, if there is no teaching, staff may be given permission to take days off, for example between semesters, after the exams if the College approves the application.   Any leave taken between semesters will be deducted from the annual ….. days. All leave is subject to the prior written approval of your Head of Department.  Copies of the approval should be sent to Cfbt .
When staff are not on leave, they are required to be at college during the designated times, even when not teaching.
Summer vacation
If your contract is for a full year (ie 365 days) you are entitled to 30 calendar days leave to be taken within the contract duration. Thus, if your contract starts on 1 September and ends on 31 August of the following year you are entitled to take 30 calendar days paid leave within that period. For contracts, shorter than the full year there is a pro rata entitlement to leave.
Thus, if you have taken leave during the course of the year these days will be deducted from your annual entitlement and you will either leave later than colleagues who have not used any leave, or you may apply for unpaid leave, which is granted at the discretion of the College.  Please make sure that you complete a leave form from the College which states the date you would like to leave and ask the Head of Department and / or the Dean to sign the forms. The forms differ from College to College so please check with your Head of Department.  Once the form is signed please send a copy to CfBT so that we can go ahead with making your bookings for you. If you have elected to buy your own flights the process is the same and CfBT requires a copy of your leave form to ensure that correct payment is made to you.