‘Special’ students, single mum attend pastry course


KOTA KINABALU: The first batch of Skills Development Department Pastry Skills students started their course yesterday with a total 14 students, including those with disabilities and a single mother.

The students will undergo theoretical and practical classes for 12 months and will be sent for an industrial training for another two months upon completion of their studies.

“I am happy to join this class and I want to bake lots of cakes for mummy and daddy.

“I will make friends in class and learn about pastry with them,” said 21-year-old Chin Wan Yee from Kota Belud who suffers from Down’s syndrome.

During the registration at the Sabah Cheshire Home in Likas yesterday, Chin was accompanied by her father Chin Kui Fong and mother Ong Poh Yean who found about the course from a newspaper.

The JPK Pastry Skills include levels 1 and 2 where students will perform tasks as an assistant pastry cook and pastry cook within the pastry section of a hotel and resort.

In addition to that, students will also be trained in computer skills and basic English communication.

The Sabah Cheshire Home, Asian Tourism International College and Sabah Skills Technology Center have combined forces by offering JPK Pastry Skills levels 1 and 2 as part of an economic empowerment program.

The ultimate objective of such a program is to promote the economic independence of persons with disabilities or the single parent community.

With this they will be given employment opportunities and be either self-employed or be in the open employment market.

Another disabled student, Idrus Naurimun, 22, who used to teach in one of the religious schools for a living, found that the opportunity offered by the Sabah Cheshire Home, Asian Tourism International College and Sabah Skills Technology Center would give him a chance to improve his skills. He hopes he would be able to finish the course and open his own bakery in future.

Idrus is one of the members of Sabah Cheshire Home.

Meanwhile, Francis Xavier who loves cooking, was thankful for the opportunity given to him in making his dream to be an entrepreneur a reality.

Francis was very excited with the course and hoped he would be able to absorb whatever the tutors teach them.

He is ready to ride his special bike from home to the production area at the Sabah Cheshire Home everyday, Mondays to Fridays to attend the course.