As part of the Teresian Rural Out-Reach Programme, the Department of Computer Applications, St. Teresa’s College, joins hands with MAGICS an NGO promoting the concept of Age friendly Ernakulam District with the support of Cochin Municipal Corporation. The programme was named ‘Viovigyan’- computer literacy programme for senior citizens.
The Global Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Project is an attempt of WHO to make large urban centers around the world a better place to live for the older population. The University of Third Age is an international concept aiming at education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community – those in their third ‘age’ of life.
In February 2017, Department of Computer Applications ,St.Teresa’s College, Ernakulam opens its doors to senior citizens and initiate the process of becoming an age friendly college . Age-friendly colleges are education institutions which offer opportunities for older adults to access facilities of these institutions for continuing education, vocational training and obtaining other life skills. Another highlight of this project is the inter-generational nature of the program as students become individual trainers for the senior citizens. Teaching and knowledge sharing between generations is given prime importance.
The college envisages to provide Basic computer training to senior citizens over 60 years of age. The elderly will greatly benefit from learning basic computer skills such as browsing internet, sending email, making an online call, net banking, typing a document etc. Computer classes will be arranged in the computer lab of the college after the regular class time. Student volunteers with an aptitude of teaching and empathy will teach the basics of computers with the guidance of teachers. Students in turn will benefit from volunteerism and intergenerational learning.
A group of 30 college students has been selected as Trainers and 30 senior citizens as students. Classes were held twice a week(2.30 pm to 4.30 pm).The classes were conducted on 1:1 ratio of trainers and students for effective communication.
Students said that the elderly will be given training in basic computer use in the first phase. Training on payment of money through internet, railway ticket booking, use of smartphones and video calling will be provided to the participants. The initiative is part of the University of Third Age (U3A) that aims at providing training to retired and elderly persons. The learning programme would provide them the opportunity to learn new skills, start new business and find post retirement employment.
The program was inaugurated on 9th February 2017 by P VIJAYAN IPS( Range IG,Ernakulam)
Rev.Dr.Sr. Vineetha Director, Dr.Sajimol Augustine Principal , Dr.Praveen G Pai Geriatrician Lakeshore Hospital, A B Sabu Chairman, Welfare Standing Committee Kochi Corporation ,Smt.Sheeba Emmanuel HOD Department of Computer Applications,Dr.Shilpa Jose Assistant Professor Department of Home Science ,Sri.Balu James, Co-ordinator, ‘Age-Friendly Ernakulam’.Presided the function.