Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education to sponsor the training of 50 more students from its concession area as teachers so they can return to work in schools in their local towns and villages.
The move comes as part of the Tawteen initiative, which was launched two years ago with the aim of reducing staff turnover and consolidating local education systems in some of the more remote parts of the country.
It provides a five-year teacher scholarship and the total number of Tawteen students sponsored by PDO now stands at 125, with another 243 funded by the Ministry of Higher Education.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci signed the MoU to further support the initiative with Dr Abdullah Mohammed Al Sarmi, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), and Saud Salim Al Balushi, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education.
“The Tawteen scheme was launched during the school year 2016/2017, aiming to train students from the concession area to work as teachers in their local village schools,” Al Balushi said.
“A number of these students have been accepted to study in the Rustaq College of Education,” he added.
“The scheme has been well accepted by the students, as a total of 368 males and females have joined so far,” Al Balushi said.
PDO also signed another MoU with Al Sarmi to support a further 165 students under its Community Scholarship Programme (CSP).
This gives students from PDO’s concession area the freedom to choose any undergraduate programme that suits their interests and provides a monthly allowance to support them for five years up to the bachelor degree level.
“The Ministry of Higher Education has co-operated with PDO since the academic year 2014/2015,” Al Sarmi said.
“I am happy to thank PDO for its continuous efforts to support such scholarships, and wish all the accepted students will benefit from these opportunities while doing their best,” he added.
“These programmes are part of PDO’s continuous support to the local communities in our concession area,” Restucci said.
“Ensuring a stable teaching environment is essential for ensuring academic success for students in the Interior, and the Tawteen initiative helps to build greater sustainability in educational provision in some of the more isolated parts of the country,” he added.
“Meanwhile, our CSP continues to offer great opportunities for students to progress their learning in higher education and increase their chances of forging a rewarding career,” Restucci said.