Embarking on a lifelong learning journey
Ever since her friend introduced her to volunteer work, Ms Brenda Yap, 66, has discovered vast IT learning opportunities that are available at RSVP Singapore. Being an avid learner, she wanted to take on new challenges for herself. She discovered her passion for learning IT, which was why she continued to take many courses after her first. She had attended various courses under National Silver Academy (NSA) including Basic Digital Making, Online Storage and Sharing - Google Drive, Introduction to iMovie (iPad) and Providing Customer Service as a Volunteer, conducted by RSVP Singapore.
She recounts tinkering with a pocket-sized codeable computer, known as a micro:bit, during a three-hour Basic Digital Making class April last year and is one of her favourite courses to date.
“I heard even primary school kids were learning to use this tool in school and was curious to find out more. Technology has evolved at such a fast pace. I feel the need to continue learning, stay updated and keep practising what I have learnt in order to prevent memory loss,” Ms Yap said.
Sharing experience with her peers
As an attendee of the IT courses herself, during her volunteer work as a receptionist, she is able to attend to seniors' queries and share her experiences with them. Becoming a volunteer receptionist for the past year has enabled her to interact with other like-minded seniors and recommend classes to them. In fact, she is also considering to teach IT to the seniors.
Making life more convenient
Her newfound knowledge has eased various aspects of her life, however simple they may seem.
Besides being able to free up space on her phone by transferring older photos to a cloud storage service, she can independently book plane tickets online for a family trip as well as navigate search engines to get ideas for crafting hobbies.
What she learns during the classes is not limited to the course syllabus as trainers also share the latest digital trends and mobile apps that may be useful for seniors. Translation mobile apps has also come in handy for Ms Yap, who works as a cashier at a local pharmacy.
“I often encounter foreign customers who don’t speak English or Chinese. The translation app enables me to communicate with them easily,” she said.
She hopes more seniors can start taking up NSA courses and make lifelong learning a way of life.
“It helps that these courses are affordable and accessible for us with subsidies and availability of SkillsFuture credits,” she said.
Ms Yap is keen to keep abreast of current digital trends and intends to pick up digital banking and mindfulness courses in the future.
“I enjoy acquiring new skills. Having the knowledge to impart to other seniors in the community is such a great joy to me. It’s like my life has just begun.”
**Special thanks to Ms Brenda Yap who accepted the interview, we wish her all the very best in her lifelong learning journey.
For a full list of short courses, click here.
For a full list of exam-free modules, click here.
For a list of ad hoc learning opportunities, click here.