Saturday, March 26, 2016 – College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q) concluded its largest co-curricular event of the academic year, the 7th annual CNA-Q Skills Competition, sponsored by Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) and Maersk Oil Qatar (MOQ).
More than 550 College students competed against their peers to test the technical skills they are learning through their studies. For the first time this year, the College has partnered with high schools across Qatar to include over 100 secondary students in the CNA-Q Skills Competition, giving more young people the opportunity to be involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Abdulaziz Al-Ansari, a Level 12 student at Qatar Independent Technical School, won the Maersk Oil Qatar High Achiever Award for an outstanding performance in Skills Competition that demonstrated his information technology skills. “I really enjoyed the competition because I had a chance to practice what I learned in my I.T. classes,” he said. “The tasks were challenging but the competition was very inviting. I think all high school students should participate. It’s a lot of fun!”
The CNA-Q Skills Competition hosts 38 different competitions – in engineering technology, information technology, health sciences, business studies and academics – simulating a variety of real-world tasks that students will need to perform in the workplace once they graduate. The CNA-Q Skills Competition is modeled after Word Skills International, which is a global initiative to promote the development of skilled trades.
Some competitions are completed individually, while others are group competitions where students solve “real-life” scenarios. As in past years, Pharmacy students from Qatar University and Nursing students from University of Calgary in Qatar participated in group health care-related competitions to strengthen inter-professional learning opportunities.
“Most of the extra-curricular activities we host on campus are also co-curricular, and involve elements of learning. We believe in hands-on education and producing graduates to be knowledge workers for the future,” said Dr. Ken MacLeod, President of CNA-Q. “It is our pleasure to host high school students on our campus so they can experiences the thrill of STEM and technical activities for themselves, and encourage them to consider skilled trades as a viable career path. Through the support of our sponsors we have tripled the number of students and competitions involved in this event, leading more youth toward making Qatar’s National Vision 2030 a reality.”
Dr. Mohammed Yousef Al Mulla, QAPCO’s MD & CEO stated, “By supporting CNA-Q’s innovative educational programs such as the CNA-Q Skills Competition, we believe we are making a difference to the future of vocational training in Qatar by nurturing talent and expertise. This competition is important as it sharpens the skills of the students and ensures their marketability in an increasingly competitive working environment”.
Lewis Affleck, managing director of MOQ said: “We are very proud to partner and support the Skills Competition. Initiatives like these play an integral role in enhancing and encouraging STEM education in Qatar by targeting students at a young age and inspiring them to pursue technical disciplines. Our sponsorship supports the growth of this initiative and our commitment to boosting STEM capacity in the country for the benefit of generations to come. Through our educational drive we aim to develop the skilled workforce of the future and continue our long-term support towards fulfilling the educational goals of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.”