ITE drone course a hit with adult students
Drones help them save money, time at work
His company specialises in installing and repairing large electrical appliances, such as industrial ceiling fans.
And Mr Muhammad Nizam Uddin Miazee, 42, has been learning about drones at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central in Ang Mo Kio.
He is in the pioneer batch of 12 students taking a course for ITE's certificate of competency (CoC) in vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (or drone) repair, operation and maintenance.
Mr Nizam believes the course will be useful when conducting checks on faulty appliances, such as industrial fans that are 5.5m in diameter and installed in the ceilings of malls and factories, at least 8m high.
He said: "I can use the drones to check on issues quickly without having to set up scaffolding for my workers to climb up."
The course, which ITE plans to run four times a year, is its first under the SkillsFuture series.
Mr Foo Wing Yong, course manager of aerospace avionics at ITE College Central, said: "We planned for only eight students at first, but we increased it to 12 because of demand.We hope to increase the intake further, bearing in mind a good teacher-to-student ratio."
The teachers are ITE aerospace avionics lecturers .
In the first lesson last month, students learnt how to operate Syma drones. They were also taught to assemble and repair their own drones using off-the-shelf parts.
Citizens and permanent residents pay $260 for the course, with further subsidies for citizens aged 40 and above and those who are at least 35 and earning $2,000 or less a month.
SkillsFuture credits can be used as payment.
After three lessons of eight hours each, students will be presented with a CoC. The ages of the students range from 20s to 60s, with more than half above 40.
Most of them are from the electronics and marine engineering industries.
Mr Ng Boon Siong, 60, who runs a fish farm, finds drones more efficient in collecting water and fish samples.
He said: "Currently, a boatman takes four hours to get the samples because he has to sail to the fish farm, which is near Pulau Ubin."
Using a drone, it takes Mr Ng less than 30 minutes to collect samples.
"Since I live in Pasir Ris, I can just walk to the beach and control the drone. It is more convenient, and (I save on) time and cost," he said.