22 students of Tzu Chi Foundation’s Machine Operation Course (MOC) experienced an On-the-Job Training (OJT) at Alps Merchandising Corporation. The training lasted for six-days. It aims to expand the students’ knowledge in machine operation through actual practice and prepare them to take the TESDA examination in machine operation.
Internship is an opportunity for students to put into practice the principles they have learned from their class lectures. This also serves as an avenue to discover new knowledge and learn proper work ethics.
Divided in two batches, the 22 students of Tzu Chi Foundation’s Machine Operation Course (MOC) take turns in an On-the-Job Training (OJT) at Alps Merchandising Corporation. The 48-hour training aims to equip the students with actual practice of techniques and fundamentals of industrial machinery, as well as learn to adapt in its technological advancements.
Engr. Reynaldo Bautista, shop engineer in Alps for 5 years, serves as the students’ instructor for six days. Apart from letting the students do hands-on activities, he conducts class lectures, which tackle math conversions, and measurement readings among others, to establish students’ familiarity with the work.
“I divided the class into three groups with one leader each so it will be much easier for them to learn what is needed even though it is compressed to only six days. When doing hands-on activity, they are guided by resident machine operators in each station,” said Engr. Bautista.
Each student has equal chances to use the milling machine, lathe machine, drilling machine and surface grinding machine. They also learn to use a computer software called ‘AutoCAD’ to draft designs of a plate.
“Class lectures are not enough to hone our skills. We must put into practice what we have learned. At the same time, this experience will allow us to come up with our own strategy on how we can work more efficiently,” shares Carlos Panesa Jr., 30.
Carlos Panesa Jr. was exposed early in life in handling machine operations. During his elementary level, he worked as machine operator in a clothing line for 7-years to cover his school expenses. He dreamt to become an engineer but enrolled in a business course in college because of its expensive tuition fee.
However, due to unstable finances he wasn’t able to finish his education. Before joining the MOC program, he is unemployed which makes it harder for his child and live-in partner who works as an office staff. But her income is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Fortunately, he receives an allowance amounting Php 250 a day given by Tzu Chi upon entering the MOC program. It helps in other expenses of his family.
He is grateful to Tzu Chi’s MOC because it gives out-of-school youth like him the opportunity to get back on track, as well as learn wholesome teachings to guide them in life.
“Tzu Chi [volunteers] really have compassionate hearts. Whenever I feel lazy, I draw strength from them [volunteers]. I think of their efforts and sacrifices for us,” says Panesa.
Inspired by this compassion, Panesa sees the importance of paying it forward. He finds sharing the teachings of Master Cheng Yen to others a good way to start.
Aside from the technicalities of a machine, Aimmie Gaviola also learns the importance of unity in a group. She believes that in work, everyone is responsible for one another and everyone must practice honesty and trust each other to produce better outputs.
“In my work before, I didn’t care what others are doing but here I learned about unity and camaraderie. I realized that we are not working as an individual, but as a group and we must help each other in both the [easiest] and hardest tasks,” shares Gaviola.
Gaviola plans to get a job right after finishing the course so she can give her mother a better life. She wishes to buy a house of their own. Presently, they are living with her aunt’s family.
For Gaviola, it is not enough to express the language of love through words. “I think it is already given that if you are shown with great compassion, you must also spread this kind of treatment to others. That way, you are setting a good example for others.”
Tzu Chi volunteer and finance manager of Alps, Cindy Balete, is glad to have been a part of the machine operation course program. Through this, she is able to give back to the community. Also, she sees this as an opportunity to somehow realize her late father’s dream of putting up a vocational school.
“When my brother and I heard about this project [MOC], we never gave a second thought. We feel that by being part of this project, we are able to make our father’s dream come true,” shares Tzu Chi volunteer Balete.
After the internship, the 22 students will be scheduled to take the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) examination in machine operations, which will certify them as machine operators and qualify them for stable jobs.