MUSCAT: Oman Sail’s corporate personal development programme, Zimam, is organising a three-day physical outdoor activities and practical experiential learning exercises for students from the newly-launched “Omani Academy for Special Skills” in an effort to develop employability abilities and provide on-the-job training for people with learning disabilities. The academy will be run by the Oman Down Syndrome Association and will begin its programme with the Zimam with the three-day activities.
Dr Lamya Harub, co-founder and manager of the Academy for Special Skills, said: “The Academy is offering the first inclusive training programme in Oman that includes an integrated group of people ranging from those with intellectual disabilities to others in society with different abilities.
“The Academy aims to build and reinforce professional capabilities for this inclusive group by providing them with practical and theoretical workshops, as well as conducting internships and on-the-job training in cooperation with private and public entities in the Sultanate.”
The programme, which runs until Saturday, will include 40 participants, 20 of whom have mental disabilities, and aims to encourage all participants to integrate within the group, work together, and communicate effectively in a variety of individual and group activities.
Oman Sail’s Zimam team will deliver 15-minute keynote sessions about cooperation within a group, communication and planning, followed by practical 30-minute activities to explore the ideas. The practical activities are designed to open opportunities for dialogue within the group allowing members to express their feelings and identify how to improve in the next challenge. The last day of the programme will involve activities between groups after which an assessment will be conducted to evaluate which achieved their goals effectively.
Khamis Al Anbouri, Oman Sail’s Head of Corporate and Personal Development, said: “All the activities offered by our Zimam team are tailored to teach participants self-determination and perseverance to help them achieve their goals, and expose them to opportunities to channel their potential. “We are delighted to be able to assist the Academy for Special Skills and Oman Down Syndrome Association with their imaginative and inspiring programme.”
The Academy’s two-year programme is divided into a number of phases, including a foundation year with a variety of development courses, followed by on-the-job training programmes. Ali bin Abdullah Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Down Syndrome Association, said: “The Omani Academy for Special Skills programme is divided into five semesters over this year and next.
“The comprehensive programme includes a foundation course during the first year that provides theoretical and practical skills through workshops on innovation and entrepreneurship, arts, craftsmanship, artificial intelligence, first aid, and many other areas.
“In the second year the program focuses on on-the-job training, with students placed in internships based on evaluation results from the workshops they took part in.”