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USM COLLABORATES WITH INDUSTRY IN ELEVATING DIGITAL SKILLS OF SENIOR CITIZENS

CYBERJAYA, 29 June 2019 – Centre for Instructional Technology & Multimedia (CITM), Universiti Sains Malaysia is continuing its efforts in disseminating technology literacy among senior citizens. CITM, USM has collaborated with Multimedia University (MMU) and Amanz Media Sdn Bhd to introduce “Bengkel Teknologi Senior” – a three year project with series of workshops that are specifically developed for the target group of over 55 years old. The structure of the project includes two full-day workshop sessions with Bahasa Melayu as the main medium of instruction, scheduled to be held in four regions of Malaysia from year 2019 to 2021. The workshop sessions are designed to aid senior citizens in acquiring technological knowledge and skills, and overcome the barriers to using digital services.

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The first pilot workshop was conducted at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, MMU Cyberjaya from 29th June to 30th June 2019 with participants aged from 56 to 73 years old, covering five course modules namely Creative Writing, Digital Graphics, Digital Photography, Cyber Security and Mobile Applications.

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Director of CITM, USM, Associate Professor Dr. Wan Ahmad Jaafar Wan Yahaya officiated the opening ceremony. In his opening speech, he highlighted that Malaysian senior citizens should explore the use of technology for active aging and independent living. USM has also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MMU to further strengthen collaboration in championing the lifelong learning rights of senior citizen. Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Deans of Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM), MMU, Dr. Lim Kok Yoong and Mdm. Sri Kusumawati, and Chief Executive Officer of Amanz Media Sdn Bhd, Mr. Ikhwan Nazri.

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The project emphasizes face-to-face learning settings and addresses the importance of social interaction in enhancing mental health of seniors. In this project, senior citizens are able to communicate and learn from the younger generation as they interact during the activities.

"Besides elevating the technological capacity of the senior citizens, this project also aims to improve the inter-generational dialogue between community elders and youth. We are extremely honoured to have received strong industry support with companies such as Samsung Malaysia providing mobile devices to be used in the workshop classes, and participation of volunteer facilitators from Astro Radio Digital,” said the project leader, Dr. Tan Yun Yi who is also the lecturer of CITM.

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One of the participants, Mr. Zainal Abidin, 73, commented that the workshop is very beneficial to the seniors especially when they are often forgotten and left out in the advancement of new technologies: “Although we, the senior citizens are able to own a smartphone and download applications, we still lack certain knowledge. I realised that there are a lot of features that we have never used before until we have gone through this two-days program. It really opens up our mind to explore the benefits of having access to technology devices.”

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The workshop ended with closing remarks from the Deputy Dean of FCM, Dr. Lim Kok Yoong and certificate giving ceremony to participants who have successfully completed all five course modules.

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Photos: CITM / Amanz Media Sdn Bhd

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