Muscat: Companies that offer skill-based training to people and organisations are witnessing an increasing demand for in-person sessions after running online for two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The demand for in-person sessions comes in the wake of easing of COVID protocols, including making masks optional in outdoor areas and green-lighting of other events.

“While companies prefer online sessions due to cost savings, the sessions we deliver are primarily to academic institutions, including students and faculty members, who prefer physical sessions, as opposed to virtual, for impact,” said Tariq Al Barwani, founder, Knowledge Oman.

“We make it a point to follow Supreme Committee protocols, which most of the venues follow,” he added. “We have been working behind the scenes to learn about the skills employers prefer, the business opportunities in the market and the behaviour of industries, especially post-COVID 19. We are now working closely with academic institutions to deliver sessions specifically aimed at empowering students and faculty members.”

The sessions conducted at Knowledge Oman are generally lessons from the industry and are specifically suited to academic institutions. Our focus this year at Knowledge Oman will revolve around the required employment skills, available entrepreneurship opportunities and the insights into industry futures.

“These sessions are delivered by our members who are professionals and work in the public and private sector,” added Al Barwani. “I am a techie myself but prefer conducting face-to-face and physical sessions as opposed to doing it online. It feels real and offers the opportunity to educate, influence and impact faster.”

While online sessions have convenience of time and location, the physical presence impact cannot easily be replaced, especially for a generation that has been used to attending, listening and speaking to an instructor real-time, as opposed to speaking over a web-cam.

While the pandemic offered organisations the opportunity to conduct sessions online, which was taken very positively at first for being something new, many people miss physical classes.

“They have become very bored sitting in their homes and they prefer going to schools, colleges and offices to attend sessions or work,” said Al Barwani.

Recently, Balqees Al Hassani, the head of wellbeing at Sahwa School, spoke to students at the University of Technology and Applied Sciences about the journey, challenges and opportunities available to them in a post-COVID world.

“This was the first session we conducted in the premises of an academic institution after being away for two years due to the pandemic,” she said.

“It was exciting to speak to the students and faculty about what lies ahead and how they can prepare in order to succeed post-COVID.”

The session provided by Balqees, who serves as president of Knowledge Oman, revolved around the challenges students would face after they embark into adult life.

“I am pleased that we are getting back to doing what we do best, that is, delivering sessions physically and interactively to society,” she said. “Over 400 students and staff from UTAS attended the event.”

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