Educational best practices to fuel government's vision

Oman Monday 16/September/2019 18:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Educational best practices to fuel government's vision

Muscat: Digital innovation and the adoption of best practices in the education sector has the potential to drive the government's vision for future developments in Oman.

Oman's Minister of Heritage and Culture, HH Sayyed Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, said, “Fuelling best practices in learning and innovation falls under the Government’s vision to join fellow nations to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

"This is necessary in contemporary academia and communication - from the primary level to higher education."

The Minister of Higher Education, HE Dr Rawya Al Busaidi, said that Oman's Vision 2040 was built on the idea of comprehensive educational systems which include research into and development of the educational system.

These comments came during the opening of the MENA Innovation 2019, which took place on Monday, 16 September.

The opening ceremony of the event was held under the Patronage of Oman Minister of Heritage and Culture, HH Sayyed Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.

In her opening remarks at the MENA Innovation Forum, Dr Al Busaidi said, "Oman’s Vision 2040 was indeed recently inaugurated by the Government of the Sultanate, based on the establishment of a comprehensive education platform with an underscored commitment to building a diverse and sustainable economy in future.

"The establishment of The Research Council (TRC) is today considered a leading incubator and supporter of scientific research, innovation and technical knowledge in the country, for example. Moreover, our National Strategy for Innovation was prepared primarily to serve as a road map for plans and programs to foster a culture of greater innovation.

"The MENA Innovation forum presents a valuable opportunity to encourage youth initiatives from the Sultanate, the Middle East and the North African regions by inviting selected individuals to present their own success stories in transforming innovative ideas into commodities and/or services, allowing attendees to draw inspiration from lessons learnt and provide their respective motivations to our youth, whether they are job seekers or students," she added.
According to Oman's undersecretary of Manpower for Technical Education, the Omani educational system is set up to teach students through practical means, which prepares them for digital developments.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Manpower for Technical Education and Vocational Training, HE Dr Mona bint Salem Al Jardani, said, "Our technical and vocational colleges have made sure to provide programmes to prepare our students for the 4th industrial revolution, as 70 per cent of the student's time is spent in practical workshops."

"Furthermore, training at an actual workplace is necessary for the students to pass," she added.

According to a statement by event organisers, “ Today’s panel discussions included topics such as ‘Driving Innovation in Higher Education’, ‘Investing in Technological Education & Digital Skills for Regional Entrepreneurship’ and ‘ICTs for Delivering the Fourth Industrial Revolution in MENA Region’.”

With 9 Omani ministers, 15 visiting ministers and 150 visiting Government Officials — matched by 20 regional university representatives — industry leaders in ICT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Learning experts alongside civil society organisations in attendance, MENA Innovation will host hundreds of interactive, high-level meetings in its two-day run.

The event will also host discussions on alternative learning systems, as well as critical thinking in the classroom.

A statement by event organisers read: “Upcoming discussion will include topics such as ‘The Importance of Active Learning in MENA Schools’, ‘Advancing Greater Inclusivity & Diversity in Education’ and ‘Transformation through Critical Thinking in Education and Scientific Research’.

"The Forum will conclude with its exciting ‘Young Innovators Special Session’ where five Omani innovators and five MENA-regional young innovators will showcase their ICT-driven solutions to modern day issues."