Seema was born in Sultanate of Oman. She decided to venture into the digital field as this revolution was emerging while she was growing up and the country wanted its people to be digitally literate. Seema completed a degree in Business Computing in 2001 from Surrey University Roehampton in England as well as an intensive course on IT and skills development program from India in 2003. After working in so many relevant fields with different organizations, in 2006 she found herself a place in the newly established authority called Information Technology Authority – ITA. The ITA is the responsible body for implementing the E-Government strategy, which consists of 7 main pillars, where one of those 7 pillars is the National IT Training and Awareness (NITTA) initiative. One of the key components of the NITTA is the Community IT Training (CITT) which aimed at providing IT literacy to the masses.
Seema’s Contributions towards improving digital literacy and development of the community was through working as a team leader managing a team and spearheading the CITT Program. She worked on the establishment of Community Knowledge Centre (CKC) in 2009. CKC were distributed in 10 different locations. This proved successful as now the centers are working like a bee hive to provide training programs for the local community. This resulted in having over 21,000 citizens trained with the IT skills on the road to bridge the digital divide.
Working towards empowering women in IT by the establishment of Women Community Knowledge Centre (WCKC). Seema was able to help Omani women to obtain the necessary skills in IT by establishing the Omani Women Community Knowledge Centre (WCKC) through Omani Women Association (OWA). These specialized centers for women / home makers were launched in May 2011 and currently there are 9 WCKCs running around the country with more 2,000 women successfully completed Digital Literacy training course.
Seema also helped in establishing a strong working partnership with private sector brining possible contribution towards community. Also established and lead strong ties with various NGO’s such as Omani Women Association and much more.
Seema attended several conferences, training program and workshop related to leaderships, Women in ICT and Experience exchanges in the area of ICT.
Seema recently won the AlMara Excellence Award 2011 in IT and the Most Outstanding Telecentre Women Manger in MENA Region. Also, she won the My Telecentre@Work Contest prize.
Feature a project you worked on:
The ‘National IT Training & Awareness Framework Initiative (NITTA) is a government, nation-wide eOman initiative aimed at developing ICT skills capability and increasing ICT awareness within the government and the community. The Initiative aims to provide ICT training opportunities to the citizens of Oman in order for them to fully participate in a digital, knowledge-based society. In achieving its goals, the Initiative also contributes to Oman’s transformation to a digital society, to the development of a local ICT industry and in creating employment opportunities for the youth of Oman.
Community IT Training (CITT) Program lay under the NIITA initiative umbrella. CITT aims to deliver free IT literacy training programs to the community, improve digital literacy and development of the community through different projects; Community Knowledge Centers (CKC) is one of the projects as well as other projects. CKC provide a venue to reduce computer illiteracy and bridge the digital divide by providing free and/or low cost education in computer and internet basics. The CKC aims to help and assist people expand their access to information, improve productivity, enhance quality of life, and enrich culture and tradition by enhancing communication and interaction.
The other project established under CITT program is Omani Women Community Knowledge Centre (WCKC). WCKC provides a venue to increase computer literacy, bridge digital divide for the improvement of the position of women in IT field by providing IT literacy training programs to women only. This project supported His Majesty’s vision for stressing the women in sustainable development to provide a strong base for women in the field of technology. As a result today around 2000 women and growing are trained in Digital Literacy through the 9 WCKC.
CITT are presented in major events in Oman such as the Khareef Salalah Festival, IT Telecom & Technology Show (COMEX) and Muscat Festival and others. Those events are major events in the country and attract thousand citizens every year.
Project Web Address:
I think at work, anything can be quite challenging. Below are most challenging aspect I could think of while working in CITT Program:
- being a women lead on identifying the different location to set up the CKC and WCKC in the country. also finding the equipment necessary to set up the different WCKC. The elements composed of furniture, portable computers, telephone, stationeries, etc. In charge in designing the WCKC (interior design) including selection of themes, colours and design specifications. Followed up with site visits all the centers to evaluate their performance on a monthly basis. The purpose of the site visits are to keep the outcome of the project successful.
- Due to the fact that the Omani population of 2.7million is scattered over an area of 309,500 sq. km divided into 9 main administrative regions. Hence the allocating of such centers across the country was difficult and needed a lot of plans according to the population density, number of nationals and expatriates, distribution of gender and availability of resources to attract the as much citizens as possible. Other challenges include the low internet penetration rate (10% in 2005) and low PC penetration rate and low IT literacy rate.
- Attract individual within the community to attend the free training courses provided by the CKCs/WCKCs especially senior people.
The tremendous positive outcome were very satisfying, such as the below mentioned points:
- Since the establishment of the CITT, the digital literacy in Oman has increased. The latest indicators show a pc penetration of 54% and internet penetration of over 66% (per 100 people). In addition, the Global Information Technology Report 2010 -2011 issued by World Economic Forum has shown a dramatic increase in the individuals readiness component with a jump 47 points to be ranked 40th globally. Was able to launch 10 permanent CKC’s by 2010, with achieved acceptable standards, accessible to all, and ideal to conduct the Digital Literacy (DL) training. This resulted in exceeding the goals by having over 23,000 citizens with the IT skills required to bridge the digital divide. My contribution also resulted in reducing digital illiteracy and increasing IT awareness through maintaining lifelong learning within the community.
- I was able to help Omani women to obtain the necessary skills in IT by establishing the Omani Women Community Knowledge Centre (WCKC) through Omani Women Association (OWA); specialized centres for women / home makers, which was launched in May 2011 and currently there are 9 WCKCs running around the country. More than 2,000 women successfully completed Digital Literacy training course
- Worked towards building local trainers, by selecting the best candidates, with the required qualifications and skills. This resulted in recruiting 49 professional local trainers equipped with the necessary skills and professional development plans including Train The Trainers (TTT), Digital Literacy (DL) and other programs.
I have graduated with BSc in Business Computing from University of Surrey Roehampton in UK in 2001. I have attended numerous training, workshop, events and different programs both local and overseas. I also made sure that attend programs related to women in ICT to enhance my effort towards the development of women in ICT filed. Here are some of programs I attended:
- Workshop on ICTs for Women’s Empowerment in the Arab Region. Kuwait, October 2011.
- Certificate on Complete course on Management, COPEX Amsterdam, December 2011.
- Certificate on Leading with confidence Dubai 2010
- Young Women Leadership program, Beirut 2009.
- Certificate The Middle Manager Development Program: Creating Future Leaders, Dubai 2009.
- Certificate on The Oxford 10 days MBA, London 2008.
- Stress Management by Mr.Barry Maher, to ensure & Promote work life balance, Muscat 2008.
- Women in & Leadership program, Melbourne 2007.
- TechNet & MSDN Roar show Microsoft 2006.
- Government Network workshop, Muscat 2006.
- Challenges and Chances Faces Women in the GCC, Kuwait2006.
- First Educational Forum for International School, Dubai 2006.
- Women in Business seminar, Muscat 2005.
- Oracle9i Forms Developer Certified Professional. Oracle Certified Professional Program, “OCP”. 2004.
- Oracle9i PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate. Oracle Certification Program, “ OCA”. 2004.
- Skills development program “instruction and project work” in information technology. Academic Council of NIIT & Bahwan CyberTek, India 2003.
- Developing Windows and Web Application using .NET. NIIT Chennai Kilpauk, India. 2003.
- Personality Development Program. Phoenix HR Trainers & Bahwan Cyber Tek, India 2003.
As technology dramatically changes our society and because digital literacy is essential part of modern society, you must equip yourself with the necessary skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Grasp every opportunity, develop and expand your knowledge base of ICT skills and most of all don’t forget to stay creative. The sky has no limit as well as your dreams. let your dreams fly high.