Soft skills must for personality development

SALALAH, Feb 11 – College students were told to pursue personality development along with their academics at a project event titled ‘Your Turn’. They were exhorted to develop initiative skills and be innovative to achieve desired goals of their studies. The right message of personality development was communicated through interactive sessions on effective communication; innovation, creativity and project skills; importance of free open source software in education; and students’ research.
The event was brainchild of the Department of Information Technology in Salalah College of Technology (SCT) and its Projects Committee in collaboration with IT Student Club. In his inaugural address, Dr Wilfred Blessing NR, Chairman, IT Projects, put thrust on development of personality skills, which are most important for professional and personal development of Omani students. “The main aim was to inculcate soft skills, project skills and research skills through the student’s experience in addition to the progress of students’ personal attributes.” Dr Fatima al Shanfari, Head of IT Department, exhorted the students to take initiatives to prove their innovative and creative skills and come out with projects for the societal development. She also interacted with the students for understanding their academic goals and feedback.
Said al Mashani put stress on effective communication skills, while asking the students to be competitive. “It is important to be a good listener and communicator,” he said.
Al Mashani also put stress on developing reading, writing and speaking skills and stated that body language played huge role in boosting communication skills. He advised the students to watch English movies with subtitles in Arabic.
Tufool al Jahfali put stress on original thinking which is reflected through “innovation, creativity and project skills.” “Innovation is to do things differently which is the result of production processes”. She also described the five creators’ qualities which the students can lean and practice. “Creators ask a lot, like to try new things, have strange ideas, can change their way of thinking, and do not give up easily.” She encouraged the participants to be good readers, learners, goal-oriented, positive thinkers and be open to learn from failures.
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse,” she cited Jem Rohan to prove her point.
Khalid al Mashikhi interacted with the audience with a relevant topic of ‘free open source software’ in educational domain, which could be easily accessed by the students for their effective learning.
He suggested many ‘free open source software’ including ‘free operating systems’ including Ubuntu and Linux. “Use of open source software is helpful as additional materials for degree courses. As young students are using smartphones and PDA (personal digital assistants) devices, the features on latest educational mobile applications are quite interesting.” His presentation gave interesting facts about the educational mobile applications, which can make tremendous changes in mobile-based learning.
Yousuf al Sandi discussed the importance of students’ research.He tried to address the basic needs of student researchers by telling them the benefits of research, level the students who can write a research and estimated time needed to prepare a research. He skillfully mentioned how to start preparing a research which suits to the students’ specialisation and steps of writing a research paper.
The participants hailed the event as interesting, educative and most important for “development of soft skills, which play big role in personality development.”