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Senior citizens to experience a slice of IT in day-long IT Enrichment Programme

celebration of the International Year of the Older Person, 2,000 senior citizens will participate in an IT enrichment programme. IT Day@Senior Citizens' Week, to be held from November 21 to 28, 1999, is organised by the National ...

Singapore, 11 November 1999 | For Immediate Release

1. In celebration of the International Year of the Older Person, 2,000 senior citizens will participate in an IT enrichment programme. IT Day@Senior Citizens' Week, to be held from November 21 to 28, 1999, is organised by the National Computer Board (NCB) in support of the Ministry of Community Development's (MCD) Senior Citizens' Week. IT Day@Senior Citizens' Week is part of the NCB's initiatives to equip all Singaporeans, young and old, with IT skills to prepare them for the Information Society.

2. The Internet opens up a whole new world of living, working and learning. IT Day@Senior Citizens' Week aims to introduce senior citizens to the world of IT and the Internet. It is hoped that the day-long activities will inspire the participants, and spur them to continue to explore how they can use IT to enrich their daily lives. For example, the Internet offers a wealth of information and resources; enables one to communicate with family, make new friends, from within Singapore and beyond; as well as to participate in community and special interest activities. The Internet also facilitates lifelong learning, a quality that is increasingly key if Singaporeans are to remain competitive in the new knowledge-based economy. Knowing how to search for information on the net will give the senior citizens who are still in the workforce an added advantage.

3. Mrs Pam Soh, Deputy Director, Culture & Lifestyle at the NCB, said, "This IT enrichment programme will empower the senior citizens to experience how IT and the Internet can make a difference to their daily lives. The 2,000 participants who will be going through the programme will also serve as society's role models to show that it is never too late to pick up IT skills. In the longer term, we will be working closely with strategic partners such as the Retired Senior Volunteers Programme (RSVP), Singapore Action Group of Elders (SAGE), NTUC Club and various self-help groups to mount IT training institutions for senior citizens."

4. IT Day@Senior Citizens' Week is open to senior citizens aged 50 years and above. The full-day programme will include training at ONE Learning Place located at the Toa Payoh Community Library, lunch and a visit to the Hall of IT at the Singapore Science Centre.

5. The visit to the Hall of IT will further allow the senior citizens to experience for themselves the pervasiveness of IT in their daily lives. Dr Chew Tuan Chiong, Director & Chief Executive at the Singapore Science Centre, said, "We're confident that the senior folks will enjoy themselves at the Hall of IT. This is a place that will enrich and delight every member of the family. We are, and will continue to be supportive of the government's goal in instilling an IT Culture in Singaporeans."

6. The three-hour training sessions at the ONE Learning Place will enable the senior citizens to acquire basic net surfing skills, learn how to send and receive emails, and do video conferencing. The participants will also experience a selection of Singapore ONE's interactive multimedia services. The customised training programmes aim to build up the confidence of the senior citizens, encouraging them to use the Internet to search for information and helping them to overcome the fear of using the computer. The training will be available in three languages - English, Chinese and Malay. Tamil-speaking cyberguides from SINDA will be available on the 25th November 1999. Senior citizens will receive personalised coaching from approachable cyberguides. A team of cyberguides from The Retired Senior Volunteers Programme (RSVP) will also act as facilitators to further boost the confidence of the trainees. The RSVP cyberguides are a group of senior citizens who have received IT training under the NCB's IT Ambassadors Programme. Mr Chong Seng Choy, a member of the RSVP, said, "The fulfilling part is that, as a cyberguide, we are able to contribute to the community. More importantly, it gives me a good reason to continue learning and to keep up with the rapid changes in this IT age. It also bridges the generation gap between me and the younger generation."

7. 1-Net, OSIM International, Senior Life Magazines and the Singapore Pools are sponsors of this event. Six organisations - The Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), Mendaki, NTUC Club, SAGE, the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and the People's Association (PA) are supporting this event by undertaking to register their members for the programme.

8. The full-day programme at IT Day@Senior Citizens' Week costs S$5 per person. Members of the public who are interested in taking part in the programme can register with the ONE Learning Place at Tel: 4700888 or Fax: 4711580. They can also register in person at: ONE Learning Place, 3rd Level, Toa Payoh Community Library, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh Central, Singapore 319191.