MUSCAT: The second edition of the National Youth Programme for Skill Development started under the auspices of the Diwan of Royal Court.
The programme aims at exposing 15,000 students, in grades 10th and 11th from every secondary school across the Sultanate to themes of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), such as computational thinking and programming using Python language.
The programme focuses on equipping students with the modern-day tools and principles of the new economy, through exposure to long life learning, online learning and through exposure to a range of life skills and international technology trends.
Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court, stressed on the fact that the Sultanate has never held back on its citizens, and there is a firm belief, that the development is a continuous process; once we reach a stage it becomes a starting point for the next stage. He also praised the fruitful cooperation between the Diwan of Royal Court and the Ministry of Education, which played a major role in designing and implementing the programme.
Dr Ali bin Qassim bin Jawad, Adviser for Studies and Research at the Diwan of Royal Court, confirmed that the second edition of the National Youth Programme for Skills Development has capitalised on its accumulated knowledge and expertise to design a high-level programme building on the modern technologies available.
He also added, the programme seeks to prepare young adults with the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to deal with different life situations, based on merging modern concepts with the digital educational content in an entertaining and inspiring manner.
He thanked the German University of Technology (GUtech) in Oman and all the international partner institutions for pouring all their expertise in designing and delivering the programme.
Kawthar bint Abdullah al Mahrouqiyah, Al Nashia Scheme Lead, explained that in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, and following a predefined set of criteria, (15,000) students were nominated to participate in the programme.
These students are currently in grades tenth and eleventh and come from every secondary school in the Sultanate. She also added, the programme consists of an online learning journey that introduces students to both online learning and to computational thinking by teaching them programming using Python coding language.
Python language is considered as one of the most important languages currently used in the development of 4IR technologies. Students will access a digital platform developed for the programme in both Arabic and English languages. During the online journey, participants will be completing independent open-ended creative projects.
These projects will be evaluated by a team of international experts, and the 200 students with the best work will be invited to participate in the programme’s final stage.
Al Mahroqui added that the final stage, the Residential Programme, consists of a two-week intensive programme to take place at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). The two weeks will include an up to date range of topics to reflect the current technological trends, including virtual reality, machine learning, financial literacy, and cybersecurity. Equally important, students will take part in sessions to help them coalesce as a leadership cohort as they develop important life skills. The phase will conclude with a two-day hackathon to ensure students’ exposure to the 4IR themes and associated skills.
The National Youth Programme for Skills Development is one of a series of interlinked national human capital investment initiatives by the Diwan of Royal Court. It is an innovative and challenging program, designed to equip young Omanis aged between 15-29 with the attitudes, skills and knowledge to be successful in the future world of work and the 4IR. — ONA