In a recent press release, The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) announced the launch of the new Enriched Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Training Programme for the Elderly.
This was in addition to a new round of the ICT Outreach Programme for the Elderly, to promote digital inclusion among the elderly at different levels and serve more elderly persons.
The new Enriched ICT Training Programme is a two-year programme for elderly persons with basic ICT knowledge. Eleven Elder Academies (EAs) have been commissioned to run relevant training courses. Elderly people can take advanced training courses at these EAs to learn about the adoption of digital technology in their daily lives, such as how to use e-Government services, mobile applications and social media. Students in the district can also take part in the voluntary work of the EAs, such as by serving as teaching assistants, to exchange experience in digital living with the elderly, which will in turn foster harmony between elderly people and the young.
Apart from enhancing their own ICT knowledge, participants who have completed the training courses will be able to serve as trainers to help more elderly people acquire technology knowledge. The measure will further assist the elderly in coping with the development of the digital society, thus achieving greater digital inclusion.
The EAs are currently formulating detailed arrangements for the training courses. Enrolment is expected to commence in the second quarter of this year. The 11 EAs are located across the territory:
A spokesman for the OGCIO noted that a web-based learning portal organised by the OGCIO will also be launched in the second half of this year.
Online learning resources targeting the elderly and those in need will be collated and developed through non-profit-making organisations and EAs. These resources will subsequently be made available on this dedicated online platform to facilitate learning with an interesting approach and inspire them to embrace smart living.
Separately, the OGCIO regularised the ICT Outreach Programme from 2018-19 onwards and extended it to a two-year programme, allowing greater flexibility for non-profit-making organisations in planning activities.
The new round of the Outreach Programme commenced at the end of 2018, with the Caritas Hong Kong-Services for the Elderly, the Hong Kong Chinese Women’s Club, the Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service, the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, the Po Leung Kuk and the Yan Chai Hospital Social Services Department as participating organisations.
Since its launch in 2014, the response to the Outreach Programme has been overwhelming, benefitting over 5 700 institutionalised and “hidden” elderly people, as well as those receiving day care centre and home care services and elderly people with dementia.
The spokesman for the OGCIO added that the Government has been working to implement various digital inclusion initiatives. Over $20 million in funding support will be allocated in the coming two years for the two Programmes.
The Government is looking forward to creating an ambience of ICT adoption among the elderly. By encouraging elderly persons to pass on knowledge they acquired to their peers, the HKSAR Government hopes that the Programmes not only help them embrace the benefits of ICT adoption, but also strengthen their connection with the community and their self-confidence, thus bringing them a joyful and flourishing life in their golden years.