Computer literacy a click away for Filipino workers

DUBAI - For thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the United Arab Emirates, computer literacy is just a click away.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Mon 11 Aug 2008, 1:13 AM

Last updated: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 4:07 PM

Since the establishment of Philippine consulate-general in Dubai in 2004, a range of free computer training courses are available to Filipinos living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The computer courses are being conducted by the Filipino Computer Club (FCC), the first and longest running computer club and recognised leader in Information Technology education programme for UAE Filipino community, in partnership with the Philippine consulate-general and the Philippine Overseas Labour Office - Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) in Dubai.

With the help of computer courses, thousands of Filipinos, who had no knowledge of computers and computer programmes, have gained skills for free. The courses run for 10 Fridays each.

Maritess, a Filipino housemaid in Jumeirah, is one of the beneficiaries. When she enrolled for two courses, she only knew how to use the computer.

'Once the computer hung or if there was something wrong I could not continue working on it. Now, I know why it hangs and how to solve it as I have studied PC configuration,' she said.

'I also dream of one day finding a job outside household service. So I have decided to enrol for Adobe photoshop for web designing,' she said. 'With only a club membership of Dh120, I can study any of the computer courses.'

Rolando Orense, 52, working for Noor Group Engineering Consultants and residing in UAE for 22 years, said the courses are very helpful and planned to allow his children to join in future similar trainings. He first joined the hardware courses, from PC operations to PC configuration and PC assembly to networking.

He said he would continue to attend free courses in the future because modern-day office work always involves the use of computer.

Twenty-four-year-old Charles Asuncion is a graduate of Fine Arts Advertising and is working in the Emirates as graphic artist. Yet, he gains additional knowledge from these free computer courses. 'I have learned more in these trainings than what I have learned at school,' he concluded.

Welfare Officer Marilyn R. Vail said in the first quarter of 2008, some 1,400 Filipinos in the UAE completed free computer education.

The latest batch of 382 trainees received their certificates on August 1.

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