September 19, 2010

SINGAPORE: More funding to help elderly get infocomm savvy

SINGAPORE / ChannelNewsAsia / Lifestyle / September 19, 2010

The government will pump in S$4.2 million into the Silver Infocomm Initiative to help senior citizens embrace a digital lifestyle.

Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Lui Tuck Yew said this amount is up from the previous funding of S$2.5 million.

Mr Lui said the increased support will help raise awareness of the benefits of infocomm and encourage its usage among senior citizens.

A key programme of this initiative is the Silver Infocomm Day. This year, Silver Infocomm Day has attracted over 5,200 registrations, which is almost double that of last year. The event allows seniors to attend infocomm thematic workshops, where they get to experience practical functions of infocomm.

To complement this, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has also introduced courses and training incentives to facilitate IT learning.

Currently, there are eight Silver Infocomm Junctions that provide senior citizens with customised IT training at affordable rates.

Two new Silver Infocomm Junctions will be added to the current eight facilities to serve seniors at Buona Vista and Canberra from October and November this year.

Three more such facilities will also be set up by 2013 to meet the growing demand for customised infocomm training.

As for those who need more encouragement to go for these IT courses, IDA has launched a training incentive programme that rewards seniors who complete 30 hours of IT training with an additional $100 discount when they purchase a PC Bundle under the Silver Gen PC Specials.

IDA is also enhancing senior citizens' access to infocomm resources through the Silver Infocomm Hotspots (SIHs).

These Hotspots located at community clubs and wellness centres, provide seniors with free access to computers and Internet services.

And Mr Lui said IDA plans to set up a total of 100 Silver Infocomm Hotspots islandwide by March 2013.

Already, 31 Hotspots are operational in the first quarter of 2010.

Mr Lui added that the government is also introducing Intergenerational IT Bootcamps where grandparents attend infocomm workshops together with their grandchildren.

Such bootcamps achieve the twin objectives of enhancing infocomm literacy among senior citizens, while strengthening inter-generational bonding. - CNA /ls

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