Friday, August 3, 2007

Computer lessons added to language courses required for OFWs

Computer lessons added to language courses required for OFWs
MANILA, Philippines -- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is adding computer training to its language courses now required for departing workers.

OWWA began language "familiarization" courses for migrating overseas Filipino workers or OFWs following a recent agreement by the Philippines with several countries.

Courses are conducted at the OWWA center in Intramuros, Manila.

Since it began in January, there have been more than 37,000 OFWs that passed the program, said OWWA administrator Marianito Roque.

Courses are conducted in seven languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian and English.

The Intramuros center has 25 PCs and OWWA will add 10 more and use these to teach OFWs basic computer programs.

"Upgrading OFWs' skills is one way of easing their transition to a foreign workplace," Roque said in an interview.

The courses require a minimum 24 hours. In the case of Taiwan, OFWs are now required to take at least 50 hours of language training.

The Taiwanese government has upped the number of years an OFW can work in Taiwan from six to nine years.

"They want our OFWs to be more proficient in Mandarin because of the current demand for caregivers taking care of their elderly," Roque said.

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