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1,300 seniors sign up to go back to school

Felicia Choo on 28 Jun 2016

The Straits Times


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SINGAPORE - More than 1,300 seniors have signed up for courses at the Institutes of Technical Education, polytechnics, universities and voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) under an initiative launched last month.


From Western art to Android app development, people aged 50 years and above can choose from 500 different courses on the website of the National Silver Academy (NSA).


An initiative under the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, the NSA is a network of post-secondary education institutions and VWOs offering courses to seniors.


"Many seniors who are retired still want to learn, not for work, but for self-actualisation or to seek new meaning in their lives. We owe it to them to help them fulfil these aspirations," said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor.


She was speaking at the NSA showcase held at Temasek Polytechnic on Tuesday (June 28). More than 90 seniors attended the event.


A total of 10,000 places for the courses will be made available by the end of the year.


Topics include health and wellness, IT and science, finance and business, media, arts and design, humanities, and ageing and life skills.


Seniors can opt for short courses, exam-free modules or ad-hoc learning opportunities, with subsidies ensuring that the courses are affordable.


For short courses, Singaporean seniors aged 50 years and above will have half of their course fee subsidised, with the subsidy capped at $500 per course.


More than 70 per cent of the NSA courses are also eligible for SkillsFuture credit.


The affordability of these courses is one of the main draws for 66-year-old retiree Leong Chee Kong.


"I have two sons who are IT experts but they're very busy. So I said to myself, why not just equip yourself with the knowledge? You're never too old to learn," said Mr Leong, who used to work in the banking industry.


He signed up for a one-day course at Temasek Polytechnic on Tuesday to learn how to use his Android phone, and plans to learn Mandarin next.


Seniors also have the opportunity to learn alongside younger students in the exam-free modules offered by ITEs, polytechnics and universities.


Anyone interested can call the NSA's hotline on 6478-5029 for more information.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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