Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is backing a five-year Omanisation programme to train 50 students from its concession area as teachers so they can return to work in schools in their local towns and villages.
The Company launched the Tawteen scheme last year by initially supporting 25 students with the aim of reducing staff turnover and consolidating local education systems in some of the more remote parts of the country.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci signed a Memorandum of Understanding in further support of the initiative with His Excellency Dr Abdullah Mohammed Al Sarmi, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, and His Excellency Saoud Salim Al Balushi, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education.
He said: “We hope this agreement will bring greater sustainability and stability to educational provision in our concession area, where sometimes there are challenges retaining staff.
“By working with our trusted partners in government, we aim to sponsor bright students from the Interior to become teachers there and reduce the churn of staff which can adversely impact classroom learning.
“This will not only enable them to build rewarding and meaningful careers in a vital occupation but also have a real impact on helping pupils in their studies and enhancing school standards.”
PDO also signed another MoU with H.E. Dr Abdullah Mohammed Al Sarmi, Undersecretary of MOE to support a further 72 students under its Community Scholarship Programme. This enables youngsters from its block 6 concession area to study at Omani colleges and universities. This has helped more than 1,300 into higher education since 2004.
Each year 200 scholarships are offered and PDO conducts awareness sessions for pupils on how to benefit from the programme and apply for a chance to enter full-time higher education. Students must pass a foundation course but are allowed to choose their major, with the scholarship running for five years up to Bachelor’s degree level.