Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Drysdale on the importance of guest workers.

[The number is] now over 600,000, which is to say about a quarter of the population. But that doesn't begin to convey how important they are, because something like…a little under 80% of the foreign workers are between the ages of 20 and 44. And they're overwhelming male. Something like 77% are male. And almost all of them come from the Indian subcontinent.

So what you have is an incredibly distorted demography with a huge population of particularly South Asian males of a certain age, and they heavily outnumber Omanis. In fact foreigners make up two thirds of the labor force, because there are so many Omanis under the age of 15. And depending on which sector of the economy, it's either more or less than that.

Now what, what has happened in Oman and actually in all of the Arabian peninsular countries is that most natives end up in the public sector, in the government. That has status, that is secure; people don't have to work very hard. So there, there really isn't a huge appetite to work in the private sector. So one of the things that the Omani government is doing is trying very hard to privatize and to push people out of the government sector into the private sector.

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