Oman’s modern Renaissance celebrates 50 years this week!
It has been a journey that has been filled with excitement, determination and dedication. November 18, 2020, will be a day for a lot of people to reflect upon the achievements through their own personal journeys.
If only we could celebrate each person’s journey, as a journalist we come across many of the stories and it is wonderful to remember the people and the years who have gone through the calendar. When we mention the reality before 1970, people often say we have heard that before; but for the generation who went through it know the challenges the nation overcame as a young ruler began to shape his vision for the nation in 1970.
There must have been excitement as schools opened up and healthcare became a dream come true. Both of these services were gifted if you were born Omani. For late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, it was a vision to build the nation and people at the same time. Education is the ultimate empowerment so higher education was the focus of the 80s.
The year 1986 is etched in the history of education in Oman as the year saw late Sultan Qaboos officially inaugurated Sultan Qaboos University bringing into focus higher education ever since then there have been numerous private and government higher education institutions.
Education, however, does not end with a Degree as many of the young people have discovered in the recent years as more and more fresh graduates enter the job market. Within those years of our study in the universities and colleges, we must also develop many other skills that make one a well-rounded personality.
The 1990s also focused on vocational training but the goal among youth continued to ensure a job in the government sector. The millennium came with a scare of Y2k but the IT sector just took off from the cyber cafes to homes. Electronic communications took a leap with mobile communications. The millennial trends were many from the food they eat to outlook in career and life in general. They prefer to listen to podcasts compared to the audio and video enthusiasts of the 70s, 80s and 90s. They are quite excited to get into entrepreneurship but I also hear that millennials get bored easily. Cannot blame them because there is so much information out there and learning has never been this easy. Everything is at the fingertip, and options are too many but the key factor is to sustain success.
For Generation Z it is all different – they have not seen our excitement when we got our first mobile phones and when our phones only had the snake game. But it is this generation who will be getting ready to enjoy the results of 2040 Vision of Oman spearheaded by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.
It is important to know the history and the path of progression that is expected to happen as part of the continuation of the Renaissance.
The journey to 2020 has been impacted by the fall in oil price and the pandemic — COVID-19. It has not just had an effect on the economy through lockdowns but on lifestyle and especially with the mind. There are moments to remember the virus in fear yet be bold enough to go on with life as if it is normal. Schooling and education have had their challenges. We might only know later the full impact of COVID-19 on young minds.
This land has also been a blessing for many individuals who came to build a career and for many Oman, the nation has been an integral part of their life.
For now, it is time to celebrate 50 years of the renaissance. Let us celebrate each year and each person who contributed to this wonderful march. It is also time to get ready to usher in the next level of the Renaissance