Closing the gap between disadvantaged students and digitisation

To raise the digital competence standards amongst underprivileged students and better equip them for the workforce, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) continues to empower youths from backgrounds at Montfort Boys Town in order to strengthen and certify their competence in the use of computers and digital tools, through the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification course.

The ICDL programme began in 2011 as part of an existing F&N IT Corner initiative to help the youths at Montfort Boys Town to develop essential computer skills as a stepping stone to meet their career aspirations. This year, 34 students from the vocational training institute successfully received their ICDL certification in Graphic Design Management and Computer Management after going through an intense six-module training programme, an improved and more in-depth scheme from the previous training programme which consisted of only four modules.

During the graduation ceremony which was held in early March this year, Cariessa Goh, F&NHB Corporate Affairs Manager congratulated the students for their hard work and strong dedication which allowed them to successfully complete the four-month long ICDL programme.

Michael Lee, the ICT Pro gramme Head at Montfort Boys Town, said that although it has been a while since the implementation of the ICDL programme, the enthusiasm the students has shown towards it has never dimmed. In fact, they were eager to learn more and even taught themselves extra skills when left to their own devices.

“I remember specifically the day when their trial assessment test results were announced. The students were extremely excited to see their marks as they had worked hard. Even after they received their grade, they read the analysis that came with the report on how they did in each section and every day after that, each one of them was working diligently to improve on their weaknesses based on the analysis.

“I am truly thankful to F&N for  giving this opportunity to these students. Without their contributions, none of the students would be able to undergo the training and receive the certification. Most of the students enrolled at our institution do not have computers at home as they cannot afford them, so they rely on the facilities provided by F&N to learn and improve their computer skills,” said Lee.

Since 2010, F&NHB has invested a total of RM185,000 in three F&N IT Corners at Montfort Boys Town in Shah Alam to equip the centres with the necessary computer equipment, printers, projectors, internet access, as well as funding to conduct the ICDL programme. To date, 374 children have excelled and graduated with the ICDL certification with Montfort Youth Centre in  Melaka recording a total of 127 graduates. ICDL is the world’s leading computer skills certification. The course boasts participa tion from more than 16 million people in over 100 countries through 24,000 ICDL Accredited Test Centres (ATCs) worldwide.

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