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CNA-Q contest encourages technical skills in students.

Participants in the competition.

College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) has concluded its "largest co-curricular event" of the academic year, the seventh 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.

For the first time this year, the college has partnered with high schools from across Qatar to include more than 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), according to a statement.

Abdulaziz al-Ansari, a Level 12 student at Qatar Independent Technical School, won the Maersk Oil Qatar High Achiever Award for his performance in the Skills Competition, demonstrating his information technology (IT) skills.

"I really enjoyed the competition because I had a chance to practise what I learned in my IT classes," he said. "The tasks were challenging but the competition was very inviting. I think all high school students should participate."

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 modelled after Word Skills International, 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 the past years, pharmacy students from Qatar University and nursing students from University of Calgary in Qatar participated in group healthcare-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.

Dr Mohamed Yousef al-Mulla, Qapco MD and CEO, said: "By supporting CNA-Q's innovative educational programmes 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."

Lewis Affleck, managing director of MOQ, added: "We are very proud to partner with 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."

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Mar 29, 2016
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