MUSCAT, 10 April 2017 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, as part of its 'Let's Do More' vision and Imprints social responsibility initiative, signed an agreement with the Ministry of Higher Education to provide 20 scholarships to Omani students pursuing undergraduate programmes in Oman during the 2015/2016 academic year. Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Sarmi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, and AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, signed the agreement for the bank's 'Jesr al Mustaqbal' (Bridge to Future) higher education scholarships to be given to Omani youth belonging to social welfare families. With this, the total number of scholarships given by the bank through the Ministry of Higher Education touches 48.
Commending Bank Muscat for the social responsibility initiative in support of students belonging to social welfare families, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Sarmi said: “The bank's gesture complements the government efforts in providing students valuable opportunities to pursue relevant educational programmes to achieve success in life and career. The Ministry of Higher Education is delighted to see the co-operation with Bank Muscat benefiting many deserving students every year. We encourage other corporates to emulate the bank as public-private partnership is vital to sustain the country's development goals."
AbdulRazak Ali Issa said: “Bank Muscat is proud to present 20 more 'Jesr al Mustaqbal' scholarships aimed at helping Omani youth from social welfare segments to pursue college education and thereby attain employable skills. The 'Bridge to Future' programme is a commitment by the bank to provide Omani youth with opportunities to build a strong foundation for a better future. Bank Muscat is committed to contributing towards sustainable development by working closely with local communities with the aim of improving living standards in a manner that complements the national economy. The bank will continue to support Omani youth as part of the annual CSR programme."
Bank Muscat launched 'Jesr al Mustaqbal' in 2012 in execution of the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to provide relevant educational and training opportunities for Omani youth to develop employable skills. The comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative is targeted at young Omanis - both male and female from social welfare families who have not been able to complete their education for various reasons. Till date, a total of 199 students have benefited from the Jesr Al Mustaqbal scholarships covering diploma, vocational and bachelor degree programmes.
During the early phase, the programme provided sponsorships to complete studies and obtain a diploma, or train in a profession with a guaranteed job placement. In many cases, vocational training did not suffice as majority of students aspired to obtain diplomas. Therefore, funds were provided to help students obtain diplomas from colleges and universities across the country. The programme was further developed in 2014, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education, to include sponsorship opportunities for students to complete bachelor degree programmes.
Students selected for the programme are followed closely to ensure their steady progress. The partnership with the government has proved successful and the programme has gone from strength to strength with students currently enrolled in local colleges and universities for bachelor degrees programmes.
The social impact of the programme is immense as many students hail from large families comprising 12 people or more, where the level of education is very low. Jesr Al Mustaqbal beneficiaries serve as great influencers on their families and the future generation in achieving a better quality of life.