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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 His Ex­cel­lency Dr Ab­dul­lah Mo­hammed Al Sarmi, the Un­der­sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of

Higher Ed­u­ca­tion (MOHE), and His Ex­cel­lency Saud Salim Al Balushi, the Un­der­sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

HE Saud Al Balushi said: “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.

“A num­ber of these stu­dents have been ac­cepted to study in Rus­taq Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion. The scheme has been well ac­cepted by the stu­dents as a to­tal of 368 males and fe­males have joined so far.”

PDO also signed an­other MoU with H.E. Dr Ab­dul­lah Mo­hammed 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 Bach­e­lor de­gree level. HE Dr Ab­dul­lah Mo­hammed Al Sarmi said: “The Min­istry of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion has co-oper­ated with PDO since the aca­demic year 2014/2015.

“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.”

Res­tucci added: “These pro­grammes are part of PDO’s con­tin­u­ous sup­port to the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in our con­ces­sion area.

“En­sur­ing a sta­ble teach­ing en­vi­ron­ment is es­sen­tial to 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.

“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.”

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