The University will soon teach courses—on a bus.

The first itinerant school of the University, the Technical Occupational Mobile Auxiliary School (TOMAS) Bus is expected to hit the streets in 2011, on a mission to bring technical knowledge to the different parts of the country.

One of the flagship projects the Community Development Cluster of the Centennial Committee launched for UST’s quadricentennial, the TOMAS Bus hopes to reach far-flung municipalities where residents do not have access to education.

“This bus will travel around the country especially to municipalities where people have no means to go to college,” said Prof. Jose Cruz III, Community Development Cluster head and Office of Community Development (OCD) director.

The bus will serve as a vocational school providing two-week courses in basic electronics, welding, and metal fabrication.

TOMAS will have three instructors and a driver.

Cruz said the Faculty of Engineering will provide instructors. The bus will be the counterpart of the Faculty’s Institute of Technological Courses.

TOMAS will be slightly smaller than an ordinary public utility bus, Cruz said. It will have a small workshop and an office, and can accommodate a maximum of 20 students.

The Centennial Committee’s Finance Cluster is tasked to raise funds to finance the construction of the bus, which will cost around P3 million, Cruz said.

Another flagship project of the Community Development Cluster is the establishment of a cultural high school for Aytas in Luzon.

Since it will be exclusively for the Aytas, its subject offerings will be related to the Ayta culture and lifestyle, Cruz said.

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“For example in science, instead of teaching them chemistry or physics, we would teach them horticulture so that they can use the knowledge in their livelihood,” Cruz said.

For many years now, OCD has been delivering basic education to the Ayta villages in Tarlac.

The projects are the Community Development Cluster’s contributions to the University’s work in educating the poor.

“We (staff members of OCD) have always been persistent about these projects. All it takes is hard work. “ Cruz said.

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