By: Lemuel Clark P. Velasco
For 3 consecutive summers since 2011, the School of Computer Studies (SCS) has successfully concluded the free and special training programs to the Deaf Mute participants. These 18 deaf youth are special individuals in Iligan City under the Hear Us Program, of the Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y) Foundation, a European humanitarian organization which aims to facilitate the social and professional integration of young adults facing extreme poverty and exclusion. And throughout the years, SCS has been a witness to their progress and development in gaining knowledge, skills and appreciation to computers, software, tools and job opportunities. Indeed, no physical limitations can hinder the motivation and pursuit to new learnings.
The ICT skills training that SCS has conducted among the deaf youths consists of three phases which include: Office Productivity and Internet Applications, Computer Hardware Servicing and Consumer Electronics Servicing. The first phase which was conducted in the summer of 2011 includes modules focused to develop skills in encoding, keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheet processing and web programing through HTML and CSS. The second phase of the skills training was focused on hardware servicing and includes modules on hardware assembly and disassembly, software installation, desktop administration, basic laptop maintenance, network configuration, and router installation. The last and final phase of the ICT skills training which was conducted last April 23-May 4, 2013 was focused on consumer electronics servicing.
Compared to other trainings that SCS has been conducting for years, this skills training program with LP4Y has to be the most challenging. According to SCS Dean, Prof. Ernesto E. Empig, “communication barrier was the most challenging obstacle of the training but through the dedication of the SCS trainers and the interpreters, the deaf trainees has acquired the necessary skills that we aimed for.” During the opening ceremony of the last phase of the training, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr.Jingky B. Bornales has reiterated that the mandate of the Institute is not just to deliver quality education but also to share its resources, facilities and manpower to its community especially the physically challenged. Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Dr. Polaus M. Bari commends the trainees during the closing ceremony for enduring the series of strenuous trainings and commends SCS for going beyond the borders of physical limitations just to impart the necessary computer skills to its deaf trainees.
The three years of conducting the ICT skills training had been life changing not just to the trainers but also to the trainees. According to Monsieur Aymerick de Vachon, the director of the Hear Us Program, the training had been monumental to the lives of the trainees especially the 4 deaf trainees who are now employed in the accounting, human resource and operations departments of a local food chain after the skills that they acquired during the first and second phase of the training. All the challenges was worth it! Merci beaucoup MSU-IIT!