Summer Enrichment Program offers new concepts and practices for students

DHAHRAN, August 24, 2017

The Saudi Aramco Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) has recently completed its 2017 session, and has fulfilled a fundamental shift in its concept, transforming from what had essentially been a basic English language course to a potentially life-changing experience for the young participants.

In line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the program targets Saudi high school students and matches them with Saudi Aramco high-caliber Vocational College Graduate Nonemployees (VCGNEs) in value-driven activities with a goal of promoting their knowledge, skills and attitudes and preparing them to lead future generations in achieving the Kingdom’s ambitious plans and expectations.

This year the course incorporated community service activities, communication skills practices, and personality development exercises. To link the students with the new objectives of the program, all Saudi Aramco values, especially safety, citizenship and accountability, were integrated into the students’ activities.

Graduates of the Industrial Training Department’s Summer Enrichment Program in Ras Tanura proudly display the certificates they received for completing the four-week program in July.

Four weeks, seven training centers, 1,970 students

Realizing the value of the summer vacation time, the program lasted for four weeks — during the month of July — giving the students the chance to invest their free time in beneficial learning and cultural activities. To accommodate as many students as possible, seven Saudi Aramco Industrial Training Centers (ITCs) all over the Kingdom participated in the program, which attracted 1,970 students from all corners of the country.

Abdullah A. Ghabbani and Salem A. Shehry observe as a Summer Enrichment Program student tests his skills in a driving simulator at Abqaiq’s Industrial Training Center.

Safety first

The program began with a Safety Boot Camp featuring various safety topics and practices, including defensive driving, fitness, fire safety, and smoking cessation.

Ali Al-Shedi, who attended the boot camp at Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq Industrial Training Center (ITC), reflected on the impact of what he learned. “I felt the value of my life and the lives of others through the information and statistics the teachers and safety advisers shared with us during the boot camp,” said Al-Shedi.

At the Dhahran ITC, students who managed to complete the virtual driving tests without having any “accidents” and scored 100% received gifts recognizing their careful driving.

“By combining learning with fun, the driving simulator test was a great example of how a safety culture can be successfully imbedded in the minds of young people through interesting educational technologies,” said Hesham H. Abdelaziz, assistant superintendent for the Central Area Industrial Training Department (ITD).

Faris A. Al-Ghamdi addresses attendees at the Best Speaker Competition during a Summer Enrichment Program event in Riyadh in July.

‘Edutainment’

Education is more effective and enjoyable when it is combined with entertainment in what educators and methodologists call “edutainment.” Based on that fact, SEP students gained the four main skills of the English language: reading, writing, listening and speaking, through the various engaging and entertaining activities they participated in at the ITCs. They enjoyed practicing English through sessions similar to “TED” talks.

The students played roles in short plays about good habits and bad habits of young people, and they delivered short English poems either written by themselves, or translated from traditional Arabic poems. They also enjoyed acquiring language skills through the computer programs and educational games.

Summer Enrichment Program student Safwan A. Badri delivers a presentation on fire safety to his classmates during a classroom session.

Energy saving slogan competition

In a creative competition at the Yanbu’ ITC, the SEP students released their creativity during the Power Systems Planning Department’s campaign, “You Can Help the Kingdom Save Energy.” The activity introduced the value of energy conservation for the benefit of future generations through creative artistry. The Yanbu’ ITC students enthusiastically participated in an energy saving slogan competition by providing many slogan sketches along with their catchphrases.

“It is a great feeling that I can use my artistic skills to serve my beloved nation,” Al-Hemedy said during the ceremony. “Our country deserves more and more from all of us.”

Yanbu’ ITC assistant superintendent Ali Nefisi said the level of creativity the students showed during the competition exceeded expectations. 

Yanbu’ Refinery manager visits summer students

As graduates of the training centers are a key source of future recruits for Saudi Aramco, ITD opened the ITC doors for all departments to visit to witness the various personal and professional development opportunities.

Then acting Yanbu’ Refinery manager, Ibrahim Al-Baheli met with Yanbu’ SEP students and addressed various critical safety issues as well as other topics pertaining to the future careers of this aspiring and ambitious young generation. It was an interactive session where students eagerly participated by asking pivotal questions concerning possible future jobs with Saudi Aramco and other prospects.

The presenters provided students with information about other academies and institutes that partner with Saudi Aramco and provide specialized vocational training for certain jobs related to the oil and gas industry. Most students expressed their strong intention to join Saudi Aramco upon graduation.

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