High school students across Qatar will have access to a new support package when making important choices regarding their career options in the highly competitive world of technology development and entrepreneurship. Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and Qatar Career Development Center (QCDC) – both members of Qatar Foundation (QF) – have come together to develop and launch “Meshkat” as a pilot program for high school students for the current academic year 2020-2021.

Three activities have been created under Meshkat: first, workshops targeting school students;second, academic clinics aimed at scholastic advisors; and third, an introductory seminar on the significance of and opportunities in entrepreneurship and technological innovations. This isalong with a visit to explore QSTP’s facilities, to take place in accordance with the prevailing health and safety guidelines at the time.

Pilot workshops have been so far delivered in both Arabic and English languages in three schools: Qatar Technical High School, Ali bin Jassim High Schools and Qatar Academy for Science and Technology School.

The project aims to engage students through virtual and digital platforms and, via field trips to schools, QSTP’s headquarters, and Multaqa (Education City Student Center). More workshops are yet to be delivered throughout the ongoing academic year, and all schools interested in participating in the project are invited to get in touch with QCDC at [email protected] .

Yosouf Al Salehi, Executive Director, QSTP said: “Meshkat is the perfect word for this program, as it is the Arabic word for a wall niche that used to feature lamps. So, it carries a beautiful connotation, suggesting that this scheme offers an accommodating space that embraces inventors and sponsors innovations that will contribute to positive change and scientific breakthroughs beneficial to society at large.

Al Salehi continued: “We are delighted to be offering all high school students in Qatar a chance to become involved in Meshkat. This initiative will raise awareness among our nation’s young people of the various career options that technological innovation and entrepreneurship offer. It will also equip them with the necessary knowledge to explore the digital entrepreneurship world and highlight the ideal environment Qatar provides for budding tech entrepreneurs. We at QSTP are extremely proud to be at the forefront of an environment which helps transform innovative ideas into successful projects, businesses, products and services that provide effective solutions to various existing challenges, as well as contributing to Qatar’s economic diversification.”

QSTP is part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI) division which is leading the charge across the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), energy, environment, and healthcare, in bringing new technologies, products, and services to the marketplace for national benefit and global impact.

Mr. Abdulla Al-Mansoori, Director, QCDC, said: “The pandemic has brought with it real challenges that have dealt a strong blow to companies that failed to embrace remote work, highlighting the importance of embracing technological innovation in these difficult circumstances.”

“Our latest initiative, Meshkat, embraces and empowers young innovators to contribute their novel digital-first solutions for local and global challenges, taking advantage of Qatar’s role as a hub for technological innovation in the region. Through workshops and insights, the initiative will encourage high school students to embark on their digital entrepreneurship journeys and transform their innovative ideas into successful projects that contribute to Qatar’s economic diversification and prosperity.”

QCDC, a member of QF for Education, Science and Community Development, aims to help the youth, particularly but not restrictedly students, across all Qatar’s education system’s tracks and stages, including the youth with special needs, to identify and fulfill their education and career goals.