Students must embrace culture of innovation

A knowledge-driven youth demographic is a necessity to translate to entrepreneurial success. It can be achieved only through instilling a culture of scientific innovation in students.
Students should also be endowed with fourth industrial revolution-inspired skillsets that will prepare them to cope with the technological developments in the current global marketplace. This will fuel a start-up culture made up of small to medium sized enterprises anew, said Dr Abdullah al Sarmi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, during a press conference on Tuesday to brief about the forthcoming MENA ICT Innovation in Education Forum 2019.
The Forum to be held from September 15 to 17 will witness participation of 15 ministers from MENA region , over 100 students from 35 academic institutions from Oman and abroad,
global non-governmental organisations, financiers and 70 cross-sector enterprise solution-providers from 45 countries around the world.
Al Sarmi pointed out that there are a lot of plans underway to continue to diversify our economy.
“From the higher education perspective, we have made it clear that Omanis need to be independent learners, and ICT will play a key role in their doing so, in learning new skills and applying them to the future work-force,” he said.
Having graduates that are specialised in certain areas is simply outdated thinking. Graduates should be capable of expanding their education and learning new subjects in order to adapt to future challenges in an ever-globalizing economy, Al Sarmi opined.
“The Sultanate is experiencing a profound renaissance, in no small part due to the longstanding commitment and collaboration of the governmental entities here today who have invested wisely in Oman’s present capacities and future potential,” the under-secretary said.
The country has a commitment in the Vision 2040 to expand beyond what would be a traditional and thusly cyclical commodity-driven marketplace.
“To go beyond limits, if you will, galvanising the collective resources of our people and those abroad, so too necessary to propel the Sultanate towards a sustainable, knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy,” he said.
“As seen in His Majesty’s speeches from the 1970s onward, we have always emphasised human resources as a cornerstone for the development of our country,” he confirmed.
This version of the Forum will witness additions to its agenda for all audiences like hosting of a creative and energetic ’Young Innovators Special Session’.
Also , ICT innovation-driven technologies presentations from five Omani young innovators and five MENA-regional young innovators will be a key component of the final day of the event.
The Forum constitutes an opportunity to showcase what MENA has to offer, presenting to the most appropriate stakeholders within government and industry, on-site and in-person. Moreover, there are six panel sessions that revolve around important topics like entrepreneurship, innovation, ICT, education and many more.
“Oman has come a long way in terms of our academic capacities, however we must strive to make change and growth constants. We appreciate that change is not possible without all parties involved in brokering it coming to the metaphorical table. Here in Muscat, we have done so literally and my thanks to all for participating in what will no doubt be highly interactive, impactful and collaborative sessions at a venue hosted unlike any in your traditional annual calendars,” Al Sarmi stressed.
The three-day event will take place at Kempinski Hotel, Al Mouj, under the Patronage of HH Sayyed Haitham bin Tariq al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture.