There are office files, letter pads, envelops, paper bags and writing boards, all of them made by the students of the Printing Technology section at their Production cum Training centre.

At the Government Vocational Higher Secondary School for the Deaf in Jagathy, the students do not go in search of stationery shops to purchase new notebooks.

They just walk down to their printing lab and at Rs.10, and proudly take back a notebook made by their fellow students.

At their school’s printing lab, its not just stacks of notebooks that one would find. There are office files, letter pads, envelops, paper bags and writing boards, all of them made by the students of the Printing Technology section at their Production cum Training centre.

Arathy Unni, a second year student of Printing Technology, was quick with the cutting machine and as she measured the book on the cutting plate, one could see that she was very precise in her calculations.

“Many of these children are highly skilled. They can rarely concentrate in the theory classes but are quick to learn the practical works. The products made by them are of good standard and they can easily grasp the working of these machines”, said Manju Annie Mathew, vocational teacher of the Printing Technology section.

Speak of their skills, one would have never guess that the identity card hanging around their neck, neatly laminated with nearly perfect binding, is a product of this lab. Some of these students can also make as many as three note books within two lab sessions.

Many who sought admission at the school were interested in joining the course after seeing how their seniors had handled the machines like experts. As soon as their teacher mentioned the name Vishnu, a former student of the school, all nodded with excitement and explained in sign language that he is good.

These students and the staff are looking forward to the full scale implementation of the Vocational Production cum Marketing Co-operative Society at their school. The project, under the Department of Education aims at providing quality training and ensuring permanent jobs for vocationally talented students.

The production is now carried out on a small scale through the society, which is started on an experimental basis at the school. Once developed, we can bring in former students who seek employment and take up mass production orders in binding, lamination and certificate printing works, said J.Baiju, a teacher at the school.