Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cooperative Education and its importance for Academia-Industry combine

24th of March 2014 was the day when yours truly along with senior colleague, Mr. Salim Al Rashdi, attended the opening day of two day symposium on Business, Education, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology and allied topics at Nizwa College of Applied Sciences, Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman.The keynote speakers, among others, included, Mr. Omar Mahmod Al-Mahrizi, HR Director, Al Ahlia Co. SAOC and Dr. Mohammed A.Al-Mughairi, Graduate Development Program Manager, People & Change Learning Center, Petroleum Development Oman LLC dealt on the topic of "Cooperative Education" and its importance for the concerned stakeholders. The duo along with other academic experts that also included a student intern who had successfully completed training in four different organizations, across sectors of different sizes shared the insights pertaining to cooperative education. Mr. Omar focused his contribution towards the need of insurance professionals in different companies operating in the Sultanate of Oman. He also highlighted the major challenges being faced by organizations in terms of high employee turnover, unavailability of trained manpower customized to the requirement of the insurance in general and allied sectors in particular. On the other hand, petroleum behemoth, PDO representative, spelt out the need for professionals who can leverage the opportunities those are knocking the doors of all career aspirants especially in light of the I-fields in the petroleum exploration and refining sectors. Both the corporate experts, along with the academics emphasized on the need to develop a sustainable model of cooperative education that would not only benefit the Institute-Industry combine, but would also provide enormous benefits to the economy of this wonderful country. They cited the practice adopted by the leading Universities in the United States of America, China and rest of the world, especially when it comes to cooperative education. The practice though in its infancy stage in Oman, has already started between PDO and GUTech, PDO and Sultan Qaboos University. The need of the hour is to adopt such models across the country so that a large section of the students and industries benefit in various ways.One of the presentation used can be seen below.