Takatuf Oman, the human capital solutions provider for Oman Oil Company (OOC) and its group of companies, recognized its 2013 Takatuf Scholars and has named 24 students, awarded with the 2013 International Scholarships. Ten received the Takatuf International Scholarship funded by OOC, nine the Takatuf Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) Scholarship and five the Takatuf Oman Trading International (OTI) Scholarship. The ceremony was held under the patronage of H.H. Sayyid Dr. Fahad bin Al Julanda Al Said, Assistant Secretary General for Innovation Development, The Research Council.
Of the 72 students who attended the Takatuf Scholars Summer Residential Program in August 2013, the 60 who successfully completed the program were formally recognised as Takatuf Scholars. Twenty four of them were awarded scholarships to join leading international educational institutions for the 2014-15 academic year. As part of the Program, they will spend two years in preparatory or boarding schools followed by four years at university furthering their education, learning about different cultures and developing leadership skills to adapt to an ever-changing knowledge-based global environment.
“We centred the Takatuf Scholars Program around four key concepts: encouraging Scholars to embrace the challenges of this century; mentoring them on how to apply what they learn in order to make an impact for a better future; coaching them to build personal and professional networks at home and abroad; and after their scholarship experience, helping to sustain the Program so that we link today’s learning to tomorrow’s success. We expect our Scholars to become role models who will inspire their peers to reach new heights not only of academic excellence, but also of practical distinction,” said Khalid Al Jashmi, CEO of Takatuf Oman.
“We are looking for well-rounded individuals who demonstrate interest in extracurricular activities, possess ambassadorial skills and most importantly, a desire to give back to their communities as educated citizens. We are encouraging students to embrace lifelong learning and are confident that the Program will have a long-term return on investment for these promising individuals and the nation,” Al Jashmi added.
The selected 10 OOC sponsored students of the extremely competitive Program come from all over the Sultanate. Students who qualified as Takatuf Scholars but did not receive a Scholarship will continue to be mentored and provided with academic and experiential support throughout their educational careers and beyond by the Takatuf Scholars Program. Upon graduation, all will join together as Takatuf Alumni and bring their personal and professional networks to the service of future students.
“During the Program’s pilot year in 2012, we found that Omani youth are learners who engage very quickly in a project-based teamwork environment. Our Scholars are all academically accomplished, but they are required to possess certain qualities to succeed in this competitive setting, with resilience and determination topping the list. It is our responsibility to prepare coming generations for employment by introducing them to different ways of learning that will enable them to hone their intellectual skills and develop strong reasoning abilities so that they are ready for the challenges ahead,” said Professor Kathryn Bindon, Program Director at Takatuf Oman.
Applicants for the 2014 Program underwent a rigorous screening process before 63 Grade 11 and 77 Grade 10 students were offered seats. The first two phases will include a Summer Residential Program, which is held in Muscat for three weeks in August, followed by an Independent Learning Phase where Scholars complete a series of assignments from home and submit them online. Students will take a number of international standardised tests such as the Secondary School Aptitude Test (SSAT), the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) from the USA and the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) from Cambridge University in the UK. Completion of the two phases and tests earns the student the title of Takatuf Scholar. Final selection for the international scholarships involves an interview conducted by an independent panel of business and public sector leaders.
“The Program’s phases have been one of the most demanding yet exciting periods of my life; they gave me a chance to see what it really means to be a Takatuf Scholar, while connecting and building friendships with well-rounded students from across Oman. The Program helped me put into perspective my personal and professional future plans. I will be pursuing my studies abroad with a new outlook on not only what my interests are, but also, with a stronger character believing in what I am capable of,” said Moayiad Al Shukairi, one of the 2013 Takatuf Scholars and a recipient of a Takatuf OTI scholarship.
The Takatuf Scholars Program’s academic and support staff include professional educators from Oman and all over the globe. To further support Oman’s youth in their mission as lifelong and continuous learners, the Takatuf Scholars Program will roll out an internship program scheduled to start this summer in collaboration with a number of public and private sector organisations.