OFW kin to get free IT training from OWWA

Abdulghani Umag, OWWA Region 12 director, said the training program is under the expanded Tulay (bridge) project of software giant Microsoft Philippines in partnership with OWWA and Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute.

Under the program, he said dependents and relatives of OFWs may avail of a four-day free IT or computer training through a training facility earlier set up at the OWWA regional office in Koronadal City.

On Tuesday, OWWA Region 12 presented the new graduates of the training program in simple rites that was graced by officials from the agency's central office.

Albert Valenciano, OWWA director for administration and finance management, said the training program focuses on enhancing the knowledge of OFWs and their relatives and dependents with various computer operations and software.

“Our goal is to introduce our OFWs and their dependents on new computing technologies available and how to make them more productive by using them,” he said. 

Valenciano said one of the focal points of the program is improving the knowledge of the training beneficiaries on Internet operations, which is now used by most OFWs in communicating with their relatives back home.

The program's training center is equipped with personal computers, Internet connection, and web cameras.

The learning module covers computer fundamentals in word processing, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, website design, blogging and social networking tools. 

Tulay is part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential-Community Technology Skills Program (UP-CTS), a global initiative focused on improving lifelong learning for underserved youth and adults by providing technology skills through non-government organizations (NGOs) around the world, a program brief cited.

Microsoft, which developed the Windows operating system and related software, earlier granted the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute with US$633,000 worth of cash and software grants to facilitate the program's expansion.

The Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute is a private, non-profit organization that has partnered with OWWA to uplift Filipinos working overseas and their families at home.

To avail of the program, Umag said relatives and dependents of OFWs just need to register with the OWWA regional office or at the community technology learning center in Koronadal City.

“They just need to show proof that they are relatives of OFWs,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)