One of our key mission statements is to be a trusted partner in the development of Oman and its people. We therefore continue to address issues that are vital for the Omani youth looking to secure their future by ensuring access to quality education, engagement in entrepreneurship opportunities and making use of innovative country value mechanisms. We give special importance to inclusion in education. Many of our educational projects facilitate equal access to information for people with disabilities by providing them with assistive devices to aid their learning. We also ensure that rural communities have access to learning and educational opportunities regardless of their location – whether in the outstretched desert, or high atop the Al Hajar mountains. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a focus area of many of our educational programmes.
ODF has sought to develop the STEM skills of students by investing in science, biology, chemistry, physics, technical, IT, electronics and chemical engineering labs, as well as equipping schools with smart classrooms and hospitals with cutting-edge technology in medical devices. ODF has also funded a campaign to increase scientific awareness in the Sur community, established a Sustainable Information Centre for the society, in partnership with the Information Technology Authority (ITA), and sponsored scientific innovation and discovery.
The scholarship programme is an investment of US$ 6.5 million (OMR 2.5 million) to sponsor more than 1,350 scholarships for students from social security and low-income families. In cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and the Oman Charitable Organisation, the scholarships enabled students, over a period of 5 years, to acquire education and skills to embark the job market.
Another milestone in education is the state-of-art Prototyping Centre which sits at the Innovation Park in Muscat. It comes in partnership with the Research Council and the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership. Not only will it benefit the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Sultanate but it will also have a great value on students; as it enhances the concept of educational technology and accelerates transfer of innovations and patents to the prototype demonstration stage. Equally, we are proud of touching people’s lives by ensuring access to not for quality educational experiences. Across the Sultanate, we have financed the provision of IT equipment, sunshades, CCTVs and school playgrounds. It is our utmost delight to ensure that rural communities also have access to learning and educational chances regardless of their location.