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More than 400 youth gather in Kuwait to present solutions for tomorrow’s global and social challenges
April 19, 2018, 12:50 pm
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 Taqaddam life skills programme praised by Ministry of Education for helping to develop resilient young people that can lead the future - Under the patronage of the Minister of Education Dr. Hamed Al Amzi, and in the presence of the Undersecrtery of Ministry of Education, Haitham Al–Atari; UK Ambassador Mr Michael Davenport MBE; Assistant Undersecretary for the General Education sector Fatima Al–Kandari and HSBC CEO Mr Roger Winfield, the British Council this week celebrated the winners of the annual Taqaddam life skills programme at the Millenium Hotel and Convention Centre in Kuwait City.

Now in its third year, the programme attracted its highest level of participation to date, with registrations from 422 students representing 36 public and private schools and an equal gender split. This is a significant increase compared to last year’s programme that attracted participation from 24 schools and 324 students. Kuwait also became the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to extend Taqaddam to two special needs schools. Both of these schools finished amongst the highest ranking across the Kuwait programme.

With the New Kuwait 2035 strategic vision prioritising youth development and participation, Taqaddam has been lauded by the Ministry of Education for helping to develop resilient young people that can enter the workforce with confidence.

It is also being praised for supporting the government’s focus on inclusive education. Developed by HSBC and the British Council, using content created by the Goodall Foundation, the seven-week Taqaddam programme provides 15-16 year olds a wide set of enduring personal and professional strengths and skills increasingly required in today’s rapidly changing work environment.

According to the Taqaddam judging panel, represented by Mr Michael Davenport MBE, UK Ambassador to Kuwait; Miss Susan Albchiti, General Counsel for English Language in the Public Sector; Miss Aisha Alsaqr Senior Counsel for English in the Private Sector; Miss Hanay Al Maqhay, Coordinator of Public Education; Michael Gordon, Country Director of British Council Kuwait, Mr Roger Winfield, HSBC CEO; this year's students presented strong skills and a broad knowledge of innovation and creativity.

Successful ideas presented by students included: an initiative for harnessing solar energy; the Kuwait Green Project which seeks to decrease desertification in local communities; a programme for helping to solve disrupted family problems; and a project for overcoming environmental pollution.

The school representing the Educational Capital District was awarded the top place. Representative for the Kuwait Public Education Sector Miss Hanay AlMaqhay said the department was proud to be providing all the necessary facilities and logistical support required for the Taqaddam projects and competitions including; transportation to the venue, facilitating registration and coordinating with the relevant parties over the last three years.

Commenting on the Taqaddam programme, Assistant Undersecretary for the General Education sector Fatima Al–Kandari, said: “All Taqaddam activities are planned to provide young people with a greater understanding of life skills and to communicate and demonstrate these skills to others, including employers in the future. In their final task, students demonstrate their learning by presenting a solution to a global or social challenge affecting their community.”

HSBC CEO, Mr Roger Winfield, said: “HSBC employees value opportunities to share their career experiences, knowledge and skills with young talent. The Taqaddam programme enables young talent to learn from experience and develop employable skills, which is an important advantage in today’s competitive working environment.

Over the past years we have seen the positive impact this programme has had on the young people who participate, and we appreciate the opportunity to support the ambitions of New Kuwait 2035 and invest in our young Kuwaiti talent.”

Michael Gordon, Country Director of the British Council Kuwait, remarked: “While formal schooling prepares us for examinations that get us into work, Taqqadam develops the skills that make us more successful at work.

These are things like how to plan and achieve things together, how to communicate well, and how to be emotionally strong and confident in the face of life’s challenges. These course participants have done brilliant work during the programme, and it has been wonderful to see them develop their abilities.

Thanks to HSBC, to the dedicated work of the trainers, and to the enthusiastic cooperation of the Ministry of Education, these young people have enjoyed the experience of a lifetime.”

The Taqaddam program is delivered over seven weeks beginning with a direct student workshop, covering the skills required to engage in the team, creative innovation, and structured planning.

After attending the workshops, students have the opportunity to access the electronic Taqaddam online platform, where they can develop strengths in their personalities by engaging in tasks and skills challenges.

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