Strongly aligned with Oman Vision 2040 and the national strategy for innovation to place the Sultanate among the top 20 countries in the Global Innovation Index, Sohar International recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to extend support to the 3rd Oman Science Festival (OSF) as Gold Sponsors.
The MoU was signed on June 9 at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al Shaibani, Minister of Education and the attendance of Mr. Ahmed Al Musalmi, Chief Executive Officer of Sohar International. The MoU was signed by Dr. Majid bin Said Al Bahri, Under-Secretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Education, with Sohar International represented by Mr. Khalil Salim Al Hedaifi, Chief Retails Banking Officer of Sohar International and Mr. Abdul Wahid Al Murshidi, Chief Islamic Banking Officer.
Commenting on the signing of the MoU, Mr. Ahmed Al Musalmi, Chief Executive Officer, Sohar International, said, “Science, innovation, and research are powerful tools that have the capacity to create transformational change in any economy, and the ones capable of driving that change are the youth. We at Sohar International truly believe in the value of knowledge sharing and the opportunities it opens up for aspiring today’s youth. With that belief, such platforms like Oman Science Festival augments the bank’s confidence in creating value for the people of Oman and the economy as a whole and underlines an important aspect of what is defined in Oman’s Vision 2040 as innovation and digitalization.”
The Oman Science festival aims at introducing knowledge development program in science, mathematics and environmental geography concepts. It is a national program that aims to contribute in raising students' academic achievement, framing teachers' efforts in developing students' awareness and encouraging them to research, investigate and organize scientific thinking. It also develops their innovation faculties, and helps them apply the knowledge they learn in their daily lives, through tests, quizzes and projects in science, mathematics and environmental geography concepts.
To drive more meaningful engagement in the community, this year festival will consist of an exhibition, a theatre, interactive scientific workshops, lectures that promote dialogue amongst participants, and competitions that include various scientific disciplines. Going beyond just the use of technology, the festival seeks to inculcate in individuals a progressive way of thinking, thereby helping them develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.
The festival also aims to encourage Omani students develop a scientific bent of mind and keep pace with global technological trends. The 2nd edition of the Oman Science Festival which was held in 2019 provided around 300 events and activities with over 1,000 students taking part in programming and robotics competitions, hackathons, drone competitions as well as scientific presentations.
Sohar International remains committed to shouldering its developmental and social responsibilities within the framework of co-operation and co-ordination with all segments of society, especially youth who represent the country’s future. The bank also sees participation in such events as a way to bridge the gap between knowledge acquired through education and skills required for the job market by encouraging practical and job-oriented skills among young people.