MUSCAT: With the Royal patronage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboo, October 26 is celebrated as Omani Youth Day every year. This Royal initiative symbolises His Majesty’s wise and farsighted vision, honour and care for the Omani youth.
On this special occasion, we share the views of 7 members of the State Council, who shared their outlook on varied aspects pertaining to the Omani youth.
Musallem Ali Mohamed Al Maashani, State Council member and Bureau Member: Effective means of preserving cultural identity amidst globalisation and technologically advanced Media
The fact that the internationalisation of information has provided networks of communication and interaction between different cultures of the world, has curtailed time, distances and shrunk the world. However, they should not be employed to determine the guidelines of any civilisation or reshape the Arab national cultures.
The youth of Oman is most vulnerable in such environment and faced with the challenges of preserving the identity and culture of Oman. Therefore, we must emphasise on hard work and achieve media immunity that serves the security of the culture of our youth and preserves their mother tongue as well as preserves Islamic religion, its pride, cultural identity and authenticity.
Sheikh Khalfan Khamis bin Halais Al Hashmi, State Council member and Member of Culture, Media and Tourism Committee:
The efforts of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher education, the Ministry of Sports Affairs, the National Youth Committee, the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, the Al Raffad Fund, the Summer Programs for Youth and His Majesty’s Cup are all examples of his keen interest in the welfare of Omani youth. The initiatives include sponsorships for young people and, allocation of an October 26 as Day of Youth.
This also denotes the pride in the youth of the nation, which must be translated into creativity and innovation. They must adopt skills to empower themselves and not depend on expatriate workforce.
In conclusion I share my great thanks and deepest gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. We will rebuild our past, build our present and draw our future.
Omar bin Salim bin Ahmed Al Marhoon, State Council member and Member of Education and Research Committee: Bridging generation gap to facilitate knowledge interlacing of the young with experiences of earlier generation is essential to secure national achievements
Each generation believes it is the best, but if we look at the rapid changes taking place in our time, we see that our time had a unique privacy and several factors have led to generation gap. It increases more now as the generation of today experiencing the present modern era of rapid development, has not seen the past eras.
Scientific and technological advancements have led to convergence of time and space and the elimination of many barriers in all areas and have transformed the world into a village.
Dr Badriya bint Ibrahim bin Khalfan al Shihi, State Council member and Member of Economic Committee: Human development policy and innovation support must be aligned with economic diversification policies.
The government’s role in promoting innovation is important, but it should not interfere with the role of industrial and development sectors. It should also promote the creation of self-sustaining innovation systems that can be sustained through flexible policy formulation. The government can also provide material support in high-cost technologies such areas of aviation, communications and health, and government intervention in administration and management must remain limited. It is therefore important to provide incentives to individuals, students and institutions.
Personally, I think that legislations must support innovation in an integrated manner as all developed countries include intellectual property laws and emphasise on lessening the obstacles to registration of National patents to facilitate them. This legislation can then be incorporated within the framework of the National General Strategy for Innovation, which aims to focus on transferring knowledge and technology from universities to the market by linking them with private sector partners.
Dr Said bin Mubarak bin Said Al Muharrami, State Council member and Member of Economic Committee:
The National Center for Statistics and Information published in 2016 a study on the survey of youth attitudes towards work, which targeted three categories: the first category about students of higher education, the second category on job seekers, and the third category on workers.
This study shows that Omani youth prefer government work followed by work in the private sector, due to factors such as stability, job security, good salary and various financial incentives.
Risk-averse and project failure factors also make young people reluctant to enter into entrepreneurship. In contrast, the results of the study showed that a good proportion of young people want to establish their own projects. Therefore, we must take advantage of their desire to enter entrepreneurship so that Omani youth can be economically empowered.
We can summarise the meaning of empowering the Omani youth economically by supporting and financing their productive and service projects so that these institutions will contribute to the Omani economy and provide job opportunities for young people. Economic empowerment is an important step to translate the aspirations and aspirations of Omani youth into a better future.
Dr Aisha bint Ahmed bin Yousef Al Washahi, State Council member and Member of Social Committee:
Youth play an important role in activating the role of the civil society institutions and strengthening the pillars of voluntary work. It is essential for all sectors of society and institutions to work on developing this group of the society to enable optimum improvement in their performance
The current youth is characterised by the availability of educational opportunities and unprecedented technical capabilities that have contributed to the establishment of coexistence and barrier less communication between youth groups globally resulting in both positive and negative consequences.
The efforts of young people in our society are impressive and are appreciated. However, the majority of them are involved in the field of voluntary work or civil society organisations. They often lack a clear vision of their projects, with limited cooperation and communication with other community groups.
To develop the contributions of youth in this area, this issue should be addressed through an ongoing dialogue between the supervisors and the organisation of this sector in society, whether public or private sector and among the youth active in the field.