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Boosting rural communities’ access to English and technology – 2024

Oman - Musandam
Dates June 20 - August 15, 2024
Program Focus

Improving employability and life skills by boosting participation in English learning opportunities between Omani youth and native English speakers, in partnership with Takatuf.

Program Leaders
Program Themes
  • Children & Youth
  • Education
  • Public Policy
  • Technology

APPLY TO DUKEENGAGE OMAN

Information Session:

We are closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East, including Oman. We currently do not have plans to cancel this program. Please note that this stance may change in the future, and we will provide ample notice if any cancellations become necessary. Email us at dukeengage@duke.edu with any questions.

Overview

Oman is considered a rapidly evolving country and a haven of peace and stability in the region. The new national strategy aims to engage all members of society in greater socio-economic participation. As such the government set forth on an ambitious two-decade plan with a core set of national targets; amongst them job creation and global innovation, skills, and competitiveness.

Although Oman ranks high in access, completion and quality of education according to UNICEF, it struggles to close the gap between education and employability skills. The DukeEngage in Oman program will work alongside a local partner, Takatuf, in their work to enhance Omani youth’s access to education and prepare the next generation of leaders for the future.

The Musandam Governorate in Oman is a mountainous peninsula separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. Duke’s local partner, Takatuf, hopes to recruit eligible students from Musandam into their International Scholarship program. This scholarship sends Omani students to some of the best universities in the world to learn skills to further develop Oman by 2040. This program gives Omani students in Musandam a competitive edge for scholarships and employment by providing an opportunity to speak with native English speakers while expanding their use of computers.

Duke students will work closely with Takatuf staff in Musandam to tutor young Omanis in English communication skills and computer skills. Duke students, Omani youth and Takatuf staff will be exposed to different perspectives, ways of living, work cultures, and languages. Weekly themed reflection sessions will guide Duke students to think critically and holistically about their experiences. In addition, weekly planned cultural activities will broaden students’ perspectives on politics, economics, history, music and other cultural areas.

Community Partnerships

Takatuf Oman Is a human resource company. It has a division named Takatuf Scholars Enrichment Programme which offers an opportunity for Omani youth to compete for scholarships at local universities as well as opportunities for international learning. Candidates engage in a 21-day Summer Residential Programme (SRP) where they work in groups to complete a research project connecting with the country’s 2040 Vision. Students learn research skills and how to write a research paper, and they complete an oral presentation on their work.

In collaboration with local Takatuf staff, DukeEngage students will design and implement two three-week programs focused on improving English fluency and language acquisition, as well as improving technology skills specifically in using various applications for presentations like PPT, Canva, Powtoon, and Sketchit.

Program Requirements

Language: None required, but an interest in or basic-to-advanced experience with Arabic language is an advantage. Opportunity to practice Arabic language is abundant.

Skills: Some skills that would help students in this role are patience, listening, being organized, being creative.

Personal Qualities: Ability to manage stress in novel environments, ability to work productively on a supervised team, self-reliance and self-confidence, empathy and cultural sensitivity, self-awareness, problem-solving, and goal-orientation.

Logistics

Housing, meals, and transportation: Housing will likely be in a long-stay hotel, with access to a kitchen and meeting spaces for interaction and group reflection. Each room will be double occupancy. Students will shop for groceries and cook for themselves. It is expected that transportation will be provided by hired drivers.

Local safety, security, and cultural norms: We encourage students who have questions or concerns about health or safety in international programs to check Duke’s International SOS (ISOS) portal for relevant information. If you have special needs related to health, culture, disability, or religious practices, please contact the program director(s) or the DukeEngage office to discuss whether your needs can be accommodated in this program.

For guidance on how race, religion, sexual/gender identity, ability, or other aspects of identity might impact your travels, we suggest exploring the Diversity, Identity and Global Travel section of the DukeEngage website.

Academic Connections

This program is open to all. The opportunities afforded through this program should appeal to students working in areas of Education, Arabic and/or Middle Eastern studies, ICS, cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, and public policy.

Students who participate in this program might go on to explore further courses in Arabic, Asian and/or Middle Eastern Studies; or to pursue opportunities such as publishing an article in Juhood Magazine or applying to a research scholarship through the SQCC.

Potential program cancellations

DukeEngage cannot guarantee that any program will occur. Programs may be cancelled for various reasons, including COVID considerations.