24 November 2007 - From today, senior citizens can learn to make voice-calls over the Internet, meet friends online and play computer games at senior-friendly learning hubs located in the heartlands. The first of such hubs, called the Silver Infocomm Junction (SIJ), was launched this morning at the Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme (Singapore), or RSVP Singapore in short, by Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
Singapore, 24 November 2007 | For Immediate Release
Seniors Go Wi-Fi, Needy Earn Free PCs, Disabled Get Vocational Training
From today, senior citizens can learn to make voice-calls over the Internet, meet friends online and play computer games at senior-friendly learning hubs located in the heartlands. The first of such hubs, called the Silver Infocomm Junction (SIJ), was launched this morning at the Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme (Singapore), or RSVP Singapore in short, by Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The SIJ is part of a three-year Silver Infocomm Initiative under the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) masterplan to equip 30,000 senior citizens with digital lifestyle skills and knowledge.
Under the iN2015 masterplan, co-created by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the industry, there is an aim for every Singaporean to benefit from infocomm as the nation progresses into the Digital Age.
Engaging the Elderly
By 2030, one in every five Singapore residents or almost 20 per cent of total resident population will be above 65 years old 1. To ensure that our seniors can stay economically active and independent through infocomm skills, IDA will work closely with Volunteer Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and the industry to establish at least eight SIJs over the next three years.
Silver Infocomm Day - Learn and Play With Infocomm For Free
Some 400 senior citizens are expected to participate in talks and workshops organised for free by SIJ@RSVP on the first annual Silver Infocomm Day held in conjunction with the Active Ageing Festival led by the Council for the Third Age. To commemorate this day, seniors are treated to a plethora of infocomm activities like tips on choosing a broadband package, how to set up wired and wireless home networking, getting onto Second Life and playing the Nintendo Wii to keep fit.
Silver Infocomm Ambassadors - By Seniors for Seniors
As a start, IDA leverages RSVP’s current team of Cyberguides to impart their infocomm knowledge to help fellow seniors overcome their fear of technology and realise the benefits of infocomm skills.
IDA will continue to groom infocomm-savvy seniors into Silver Infocomm Ambassadors to advocate a digital lifestyle and influence their peers to join the infocomm bandwagon.
“I never thought my knowledge in Skype can benefit my friends here at SIJ@RSVP. My friends tell me that they feel so much more comfortable asking someone their own age about something they are uncomfortable with, like IT,” said Mr Chong Seng Choy, 69, who joined RSVP in 1999 and is currently helping as a trainer and tutor for RSVP Cyberguide programme.
Equipping the Needy
Since 1999, IDA’s NEU PC programme has helped equip 24,000 needy households with a computer bundle.
To ensure that no school-going child is denied a computer, an extra mile financial support is made available for NEU PC Plus applicants who are unable to co-pay the subsidised computer and broadband bundle of S$285. Called the iNSPIRE Fund, this support will assist some 4,000 students from needy households over the next four years. Students can render community service in order to receive a fully-paid desktop PC.
IDA’s iNSPIRE Fund will be administered by the Singapore Children’s Society. Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF), who have collaborated with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre to promote volunteerism, is already a corporate donor of the iNSPIRE Fund. Maybank has also pledged its support.
Empowering the Disabled
By mid 2008, an Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IA Centre), housed within the premise of the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD), will be fully operational. With upcoming facilities to include an Infocomm Assistive Technology (AT) library and vocational training services, the IA Centre is co-funded by IDA and the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), including support from the industry. It will train some 4,000 people with disabilities over the next three years to help increase their self-independence and job prospects.
IDA and SPD are already working with commercial training providers and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) on structured training curriculum such as Digital Imaging, Web Animation, Network and Database Management for the disabled community (visually and hearing-impaired, and physically-challenged). More than 100 trainees have attended the basic and intermediate courses since September this year. Trainees who show potential may join the apprenticeship programme to enhance their work-readiness.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Note to Editor:
- Factsheet on Silver Infocomm Initiative (20.64KB)
- Factsheet on NEU PC Plus
- Factsheet on Infocomm Accessibility Centre (19.90KB)
- Media Statement By Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister For Community Development, Youth And Sports, And Second Minister For Information, Communications And The Arts, As The Guest-Of-Honour, At The Official Opening Of The Silver Infocomm Junction on Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 10.20am at Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme (Singapore)
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing info-communications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
For media clarification, please contact:
Vanni Cheong (Ms)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Tel: +65 6211 0353
Fax: +65 6211 2227
Jesmin Tan (Ms)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Tel: +65 6211 0917
Fax: +65 6211 2227