The Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Eshraqa, the corporate social responsibility arm of Khimji Ramdas, to gradually deploy the Children’s Museum as the anchor location for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Arts (StemaZone) initiative.
The MoU was signed by Rahma Qassim al Farsi, director general of Museums, MHC, and Nailesh Khimji, director, Khimji Ramdas, in the presence of H E Salim bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi, undersecretary for Heritage Affairs at MHC, and Gopalakrishnan Sankar, executive director, Khimji Ramdas.
The agreement between the two parties signifies a futuristic blueprint aimed towards inspiring young Omanis to enter Stema fields and set them on the pathway from an early age. Putting a renewed focus on StemaZone initiative, the MoU highlights the country’s commitment to help students gain the skills they need to prepare for the demands of the global economy and jobs of the future.
The Children’s Museum, dedicated to science, has been providing children with educational experiences covering human life, physics, and hands-on science-based activities. Eshraqa works towards the social development of the nation and aspires to significantly contribute towards the education sector by enhancing knowledge, skills and capabilities. Under the aegis of this agreement, MHC and Eshraqa will collaborate on the execution of a year-long programme called the Stema and Coding Initiative.
Eshraqa, with guidance provided by DAI Global, will carry out this future funded initiative to encourage opportunities for students in Stema fields. The signing is significant given that the country is working towards achieving Oman Vision 2040 which will need a pipeline of talented young Omanis who are equipped with Stema skills and knowledge.
The initiative will be national in scope, providing services to youth in multiple cities across the sultanate. To accomplish this, MHC will allocate space at the Nizwa Cultural Centre, Department of Heritage and Culture in Sohar and the Directorate General of Heritage and Culture in Dhofar to host the initiative for two weeks each this year.
The objective of the initiative is to equip the Omani youth with skills they need to contribute to the economy and to tap the next generation of Stema innovators and leaders in Oman. The curriculum of the initiative will target children aged between 8 and 16, with specific activities designed for both younger and older students.
Commenting on the signing of the MoU, Rahma said, “The MoU represents steps to foster public, private partnerships (PPP) between the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the private sector. The agreement supports Oman’s vision of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and is a major boost to the museum. The initiative will enrich students’ knowledge and help them achieve the sultanate’s educational goals with guidance from the museums.”