F&N IT Corner Fuels Dreams of Underprivileged Youth
|Posted on 18 March 2016|
Shah Alam – While many are of the thinking that low-income, underprivileged youth have little chance to succeed or find financial stability, it is often the choices one makes and not tough circumstances that determine one’s future.
Firm in its belief that all children deserve equal education opportunities, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) established the F&N IT Corner programme in 2010 to help youths of Montfort Boys Town develop essential computer skills as a stepping stone to a brighter future.
Since 2011, the F&N IT Corner has also given students the opportunity to undergo a six to eight-month International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) certification course which is fully funded by F&N.
Offered to final-year students, the course gives participants the skills and competencies necessary to use a computer and common computer applications. This includes managing files, word processing, developing spreadsheets, database and presentations, as well as information and communication functions.
The internationally-recognised computer literacy certification is supported by governments, international organisations and corporations globally, thus giving students an edge when seeking employment.
To date, the programme has benefitted over 200 students, proving that circumstances are not hindrances to success and aspirations are certainly within reach.
Computer maintenance student Ng Qiu Teng is one such example. The 20-year-old is confident of finding a good job abroad after graduating from the ICDL course.
“I decided to pursue ICDL based on the recommendation of my sister who studied at Montfort too. With the internationally-recognised qualifications, she has found herself a good paying job in Singapore. I hope to follow in her footsteps once I graduate,” said the 20-year-old from Tangkak, Johor.
Though from a financially-challenged family, Ma Ke Ney is looking forward to a brighter future having now gone through the ICDL course.
“The course was difficult at first as I was unfamiliar with many of the programmes. Fortunately, the teachers were very patient with me and with their guidance I was able to pick up the skills in no time. The ICDL course equips us with fundamental skills which will be essential not only in our future employment but when furthering our studies,” said the 20-year-old graphic design student who plans to further her studies in illustration upon graduation.
For Klang-born Roger Robin Raj, opting for a course in Computer Maintenance was a “no brainer”.
“No matter what industry, the future of business will depend heavily on technology. Computer knowledge will be essential regardless of the job. Through the ICDL course, I’m able to expand my understanding of basic computer software which will in turn give me greater respect and advantage when seeking employment,” he added.
Graphic design teacher and Montfort alumni Lee Wai Kok said the certification course was a good foundation programme for the students. The internationally-recognised certification also gave students an added advantage when seeking employment opportunities.
F&NHB Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Ms Karen Tan said that computers have become a central piece in almost every job hence graduates need to be computer literate in order to meet their career aspirations.
In fact, computer skills are needed even before one secures a job to research potential employment opportunities and write resumes.
Though many of the students come from underprivileged backgrounds, we believe education can give them a chance of a brighter future. Through the F&N IT Corner, we hope to empower youths with essential computer skills to equip them for both academic and professional success,” she said at the school’s fifth ICDL graduation ceremony for 48 new graduates.
F&NHB has invested over RM250,000 to date in four F&N IT Corners at Montfort Town to equip the centres with the necessary computer equipment, printers, projectors, internet access, as well as funding to conduct the ICDL programme.