MULTIPURPOSE TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY CENTRES
The Multipurpose Technology Community Centres (MTCCs) are being implemented within the ESCWA Initiative on Technology, Employment, and poverty. MTCCs aim at providing the local community with access to ICTs and building basis for the delivery of vocational training programmes. Hence, MTCCs allow the local community to harness new technologies in combating unemployment and poverty.
To that effect, MTCCs are planned to provide a range of services that include the following:
- Basic computer literacy courses;
- Selected language courses (namely Arabic and English);
- Vocational training in several areas including agro-food industry;
- Secretarial training;
- Accountancy courses;
- Free Internet access;
- Hardware and software support courses.
Further courses planned for future stages of implementation include:
- E-commerce and web design;
- E-health emphasising child and prenatal health care
MTCCs in Akkar, North Lebanon
MTCCs have been piloted in three localities in Akkar, North Lebanon, which is considered one of the most impoverished areas of Lebanon. To that end, ESCWA established a number of partnerships to accommodate the needs of the selected localities as well as secure acceptance of the centre. In particular, the pilot MTCCs were established by ESCWA through assistance provided by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and Microsoft and in cooperation with Fares Foundation, an NGO, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as well as the local municipalities.
Three MTCCs were inaugurated in Akkar in 2003; the first on September 20th in Tal-Abbas, the second on December 8th in Muqaybleh, and the third on December 20th in Bebnine.
The MTCCs were established at the respective municipalities, which provided the centres with basis services such as electricity supply and telephone lines.
Prior to commencing operations, ESCWA conducted in collaboration with an UNRWA expert a "train-the-trainer"; workshop for MTCC trainers/managers to enable two members of staff in each MTCC to manage the centre and deliver training material.
Accordingly, the MTCCs delivered courses in basic concepts of information technology, using the computer and managing files, word processing, spreadsheet operations, databases, English and Arabic language courses, and accessing the Internet. In fact, IT courses offered are based in their content on the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL).
167 trainees were able to successfully complete the training courses offered by the MTCCs in Akkar. Therefore, and towards the beginning of 2004, ceremonies were held at the municipalities to celebrate the graduation of these trainees during which certificates were distributed. These ceremonies were attended by representatives of the participating organizations, the trainers, and heads of the municipalities.
ESCWA is undertaking a number of activities with view to acquiring the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification for the three MTCCs in Akkar. Accordingly, the trainers at the MTCC attended a two-day workshop organized by ESCWA in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for (UNRWA). The workshop took place during 31 May - 1 June 2005 and provided a refresher course on the seven modules that constitute the ICDL syllabus. On that basis, the trainers were able to sit for, and successfully pass, the ICDL examination and thus become ICDL certified.
New training courses took place at the Mukaybleh and Tal-Abbas MTCC. The former took place during August 05 and was attended by 32 trainees whereas the latter took place during February-April 05 and was attended by 29 trainees. The courses covered training on basic computer skills including the use of spreadsheets, text editors, and the Internet. The material presented is based on the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) where the trainers have already been ICDL certified. For more information on new courses, please contact the MTCC trainers:
In Tal-Abbas: Mr. Michel Mitri;
In Mukaybelh: Ms. Odessa Abbas; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Bebnine: Mr. Fouad Sabsabi;