Ensure next generation is better than us: Minister

Ensure next generation is better than us: Minister

Singaporeans should pass on their knowledge "to make sure that the next generation is always better than us".

This was the call from Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and deputy chairman of the People's Association (PA), at an SGfuture engagement session yesterday.

It focused on lifelong learning for senior citizens and how the community can support them - which the PA hopes to do by linking them up with like-minded people and providing venues.

"If we as individuals keep learning but never pass on the experiences, then we'll be back to 1965," said Mr Chan.

Brainstorming ideas at the Future of Us exhibition venue at Marina Bay were about 80 participants aged 23 to 78.

Retired electrical engineer Ho Hew Lee, 73, gives free IT talks and hands-on sessions to those over 50 years of age once a month at Bukit Merah Public Library. "It is a challenge to get the seniors to come out of their comfort zone," he said.

Nanyang Technological University undergraduate Sai Fengjia, 24, teamed up with three friends on a final-year project, named Savvy Silvers, to help seniors get to grips with smartphones.

"We created a curriculum to teach them basic functions of the phone, and then we advanced to specific apps on the phone," she said.

Retiree Fong Kwok Onn, 65, stressed the importance of seniors knowing how to use technology like Skype and WhatsApp, instead of traditional phones, to communicate with friends and relatives overseas. "It's free of charge," he said.

Mr Chan said the PA is working with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency and other agencies to create more courses tailored for seniors where they can use their $500 SkillsFuture credit.


This article was first published on March 6, 2016.
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