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A Life-Long Learning Journey Enabled By Infocomm

22 November 2008 - Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education, And Information, Communications And The Arts, At The Silver Infocomm Day, At The Singapore Polytechnic Auditorium

Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education, And Information, Communications And The Arts At The Silver Infocomm Day On 22 November 2008 (Saturday), 10.00am At The Singapore Polytechnic Auditorium

Mr. Leong Keng Thai
Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms & Post), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore,

Dr Philbert Chin, President
RSVP Singapore - The Organisation of Senior Volunteers,

Mr. Tan Hang Cheong
Principal, Singapore Polytechnic,

Distinguished seniors, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.


1. A very warm welcome to all of you as we gather today to celebrate an important occasion, the second annual Silver Infocomm Day. Silver Infocomm Day is dedicated to seniors who embrace infocomm technology to better the way we live, learn, work and play. We all acknowledge that learning is a life-long journey, and today we celebrate this passion for learning in a fun and exciting way through infocomm technology.

2. Infocomm has a profound impact on our lives and the way we communicate, be it at home or on-the-go. Just as the home telephone has evolved over the years to the mobile or internet-phone, the way we connect with our peers, friends and families has also changed. Thanks to infocomm - who ever thought we could make a phone call and see the other party’s face on 3G or VOIP phones? Even though our children, grandchildren and friends are just a phone-call or SMS away, now we can also stay connected by using on-line chats to keep everyone posted on our activities through social media such as Facebook and blog sites.

3. Indeed, this is how Mr. Dick Yip, 61, a retired school teacher, communicates with his grandchildren, ex-students and friends. Before starting to blog actively, he spent over 36 hours building the website that hosted his blog. Now, he is more connected with his peers than ever before, being linked to at least 100 family members and friends all over the world through the Internet.

4. Ladies and gentlemen, as you have just seen on screen, age is no barrier to learning and actively participating in infocomm. Thank you, Mr. Yip, for being an inspiration and role model to all of us. It is often cited that learning is life-long, and you have just proved again that this expression is indeed true.

5. The Internet is not just an encyclopaedia or library where you can find information from Taiji to cooking, and from calligraphy to healthcare. Now, you can communicate, share and connect with your friends and relatives in ways that you may find convenient and comfortable through the new facilities that are made available for you.

Two New Silver Infocomm Junctions Open

6. To make technology and other computer services even more accessible, I am pleased to announce that we have expanded the infocomm learning hubs to other parts of Singapore. Known as the Silver Infocomm Junctions, two more of these learning hubs have been set up in partnerships with the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC@Bukit Panjang) and the Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC). Located in the heartlands of Bukit Panjang in the North West and Marine Parade in the South East, the Silver infocomm Junctions offer a host of IT facilities. These learning hubs are easily accessible by public transport, providing our seniors with customised IT training and computer access at affordable fees. Five more of such infocomm junctions will be set up in the next two years, bringing the total number to eight.

7. To date, about 1,000 senior citizens have been trained at the first infocomm junction since its launch last November at RSVP Singapore in Bishan. I am heartened to note that some seniors at the Centre have even volunteered themselves as ‘Cyber Guides’ to assist their peers in the learning process. You will see some of them in action later at the “Infocomm Tips & Tricks” talk later.

Customised Curriculum For Seniors

8. To ensure that infocomm can be easily embraced by our seniors, I am also pleased to announce the launch of a new set of English and Chinese infocomm literacy curriculum that has been jointly developed by RSVP Proguide and the YAH! (Young at Heart) group of the Marine Parade Family Service Centre. I am confident that with their experience and knowledge in planning IT-related training courses, they will be able to ensure the training needs of seniors are effectively met.

9. These materials are comprehensive, with helpful visual cues and easy to use. The eCommunications Module under the iBEGIN track, for example, helps you learn how to create an email and instant messaging accounts, as well as protect you against spam and viruses. You can also find out how to make an audio call or even video call using the internet.

10. Besides iBEGIN, we have another track, called iLIVE, to provide you with the knowledge to manage hobbies and lifestyle skills online. For instance, you can learn how to check travel-related information, book air tickets and travel packages online in the eTravel Module. There is another hobby-based module on Digital Photo Management, which allows seniors to learn how to manage digital images, enhance their quality as well as to publish and share with friends and peers on-line. For the more adventurous, I encourage you to try your hand at editing photos and sharing them with your friends on web albums - just as how Mr. Richard Ng Geok Siang had learnt in the video clip shown earlier. Available at very affordable rates, you can sign up for both iBEGIN and iLIVE modules at any of the three Silver Infocomm Junctions.


11. Looking around, I am heartened to see many young faces sitting with their parents or grandparents and joining in the fun on Silver Infocomm Day. I heard that scores of youth volunteers from Singapore Polytechnic are giving their support as trainers’ assistants to our seniors. I hope that this bonding opportunity between generations will be both fruitful and meaningful to every one of you. I wish you a happy learning journey ahead. Thank you.

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