Muscat – Oman Shell, in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE), Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), celebrated the successful implementation of VIA’s Global Road Safety Programme in four schools in the Muscat Governorate, at the closing workshop for the effective educational course.
VIA’s road safety educational programme which was implemented in four schools in Muscat, has had a significant impact on students’ awareness of traffic safety rules and regulations.
Designed to be a flexible, accessible and easily replicable programme, the Ministry of Education, GRSP course delivery experts and teachers adapted the VIA course material to suit the cultural and contextual requirements of the Sultanate of Oman. A well-developed curriculum that has improved the skills of children across 30 countries and counting, the new programme from VIA has helped Omani students gain a better understanding of road safety, develop safe road-user behaviour and improve their road safety skills.
As part of the programme, the GRSP course experts also trained school teachers, bus drivers and the local community to build capacity and improve their skills in road safety. Furthermore, Oman Shell conducted workshops led by the GRSP experts for the ROP staff. On the whole, the VIA programme’s pilot implementation has enabled the active participation and engagement of teachers, students, drivers and the local communities involved.
The newly developed skills and road-user behaviour has also led to a greater adherence to traffic rules and regulations among the students. With the successful implementation of the programme in the four schools in Muscat, Oman Shell aims to reach 33 more schools across the country this year.
Speaking about the VIA Road Safety programme’s impact and importance, His Excellency, Abdullah Ambusaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education said, “It is essential that we create safer and more responsible road users for the future. This is precisely where the VIA programme comes in. Not only has this globally accepted programme ensured students, teachers and drivers develop safe road-user habits and behaviour, but it has also built awareness and helped in developing the skills required to ensure that Oman’s roads are a safe place for everyone involved. The successful implementation of the programme in the 4 pilot schools is a positive sign, and I’m sure that the close collaboration between the Ministry of Education, GRSP, Oman Shell and the ROP will see the integration of the course material in school curricula across Oman.”
Talking about the experience the ROP staff had during the training, Lt. Colonel Khamis Al Batashi of the ROP said, “The ROP are playing a crucial role in implementing safe road user skills for Oman’s school children. The new programme from VIA which is supported by Oman Shell and conducted by the GRSP experts is a comprehensive and effective training module that has helped our trainers provide students with the necessary guidelines and skills for road safety. This includes educating them on the importance of following traffic rules and regulations. Through this course, we have also played a key role in ensuring school zones are safe for students, which in turn has led to a reduction in accidents involving children. As enforces of the law and road-related attitude and behaviour, we look forward to training and teaching more students in schools across Oman.
Commenting on the positive impact the new VIA programme has had, Walid Hadi, Oman Shell’s Senior VP and Country Chairman said, “Keeping roads safe, secure and accident-free is not only vital to our business at Shell, but is also a core focus of our social investment programmes in Oman. Over the years, we have introduced several road safety initiatives that have benefitted teachers, students, parents, drivers and local communities alike. In the past four years, our collaborative efforts with the Royal Oman Police and the Ministry of Education have enabled us to extend our road safety initiatives to over 300 schools, benefitting approximately 45,000 students across the Sultanate of Oman.”