Sailing: Academy for Special Skills launches 2-year curriculum with Oman Sail’s Zimam
February 27, 2019 | 5:06 PM
by Times News Service
Participants from the Academy for Special Skills taking part in the Oman Sail Zimam programme. Supplied Photo

MUSCAT: A team from Oman Sail’s Zimam programme have successfully completed a three-day course to improve employability skills in students with learning disabilities at Oman’s new “Academy for Special Skills”. The course was run in Sohar by facilitators from Zimam – Oman Sail’s corporate personal development programme – for the Academy which is run under the umbrella of the Oman Down Syndrome Association.

The mix of physical outdoor activities which included practical experiential learning exercises were designed to inspire the young people taking part while taking them out of their comfort zone. Khamis Al Anbouri, Oman Sail’s Head of Corporate and Personal Development, said: “Zimam aims to build high-performing teams by equipping them with the skills to lead, motivate and engage at all levels of the organisation.

“The sessions held at the Academy for Special Skills activities intended to encourage teamwork and team-bonding through key competencies which include self-leadership, communication, decision-making, resilience and time management.”

The programme involved 40 participants, 20 of whom had learning disabilities, and marked the launch of a two-year Academy programme which will involve various development courses followed by on-the-job training. The students will be carefully assessed during the programme to ensure they progress to suitable on-the-job training, said Miad Al-Hinai, Student Supervisor at the Academy for Special Skills.

“At the end of each workshop, the Academy will be evaluating the students to ascertain their level, track their development, measure their strengths and weaknesses, and explore their inhibited talents. As a result, a suitable on-job training placement will be identified to build upon the students’ professional skills.”

The newly-launched Academy for Special Skills benefits from the generous sponsor support of the alizz islamic bank, Oman LNG and Petroleum Development Oman. Looking ahead it is already making plans for the future.

“To make the Academy sustainable we are working on obtaining professional accreditation from the Ministry of Manpower,” said Alice Ambusaidi, co-founder of the Academy.

“In the future, the Academy aims to become a role-model in the region for the first-of-its-kind inclusive training programme which aims to integrate those with intellectual disability with the community at large.”

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