Published Tue, Mar 19, 19. Written by Teresa Anderson.
The odds of a deaf high school graduate getting a job in a regular private business are pretty slim in the Philippines. For this reason, IDEA operates a number of businesses that currently employ over 150 deaf people. IDEA is working hard to give the deaf a better chance at employment in the general private business sector. The unemployment rate on the islands of Bohol and Leyte is over 50%, which makes it almost impossible for an untrained deaf person to find a job.
To prepare IDEA students for work after graduation, IDEA provides in depth vocational training to the deaf students. The skills taught include: baking, cooking, furniture making, fly tying, construction, sewing, welding, painting, pottery, computer graphics, plumbing, barber soap and detergent production, paper making, landscaping, and many more. These skills the students acquire help prepare them for many different professions or careers they choose to pursue.
IT BEGINS IN HIGH SCHOOL
Kids need exposure to many different possibilities of livelihood before they find something that clicks for them. This is the approach we take at our private high school, Bohol Deaf Academy. Bohol Deaf Academy (also known as BDA) stresses vocational education and the students love it! Academic education paired with practicing applicable life skills means opportunities to succeed, to work, and to find fulfillment.
Starting in their freshman year, the students learn through both classroom and on-the-job training formats. They are given six hours each week when they are allowed to “job shadow” with any number of IDEA working professionals. In job shadowing, the student observes and may lend a hand in some tasks. This is just an introductory time for them. This exposure is continued in their sophomore year. If the student still hasn’t been able to find a trade that suits them, then they will continue the job shadowing for their Junior year as well.
INTENSIVE HANDS ON TRAINING
Generally by their Junior year, students have decided what interests them the most and will focus on that trade. Under this intensive system, the students will spend two full days each week working side by side with our professionals. They will actually be producing products or carrying out tasks that are required in the real world. They will adjust to an 8 hour work day and meeting expectations of an employer. For some, this is a difficult adjustment but necessary if they hope to find jobs outside of IDEA businesses.
Part of Dennis Drake’s mission of IDEA was to not only provide education and employment for the students of IDEA, but to also give them opportunities outside of the IDEA family of businesses. IDEA works to continue that mission with the provided vocational training to launch students after graduation into the job world, whether it be within IDEA’s businesses or not. With the training provided, they go confidently into their chosen trade or profession with the skills they need to succeed anywhere they choose.