Like their grandchildren and other younger peers, some 17 senior citizens in Valenzuela City would soon be netizens, too, having completed free computer literacy training by the Telecommunications Training Institute (TTI).
From September 16 to 20, at the TTI compound along McArthur Highway in Valenzuela City, the elderly trainees were taught by TTI instructors the basics of computer operations, using a word processing program, Internet search engines and social networking sites, as well as composing and sending email. One instructor was assigned for every two participant.
“Through this computer literacy training, we hope to bridge the technological gap between generations,” TTI instructor Florian Punsalan said.
This is the first time the 50-year-old institute − whose usual clients are professional electronic communication engineers – is holding a computer literacy training for senior citizens.
TTI Officer-in-charge Eric Toledo said the training is an initiative under the Internet for All program of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) which aims to increase the number of Filipinos with access to broadband internet and include underserved groups such as senior citizens.
Before senior citizens, the TTI has also conducted similar literacy trainings among persons with disabilities, police officers, and barangay officials. Every summer, the TTI also conducts a week-long training among out-of-school youth.
Retired government employee and TTI trainee Teresita Curabo, 72, said she took a computer course during her time at the Department of Justice office in Valenzuela City but never practiced it.
“It was the office clerks who did all computer work, so I never had the chance to apply what I learned,” said Curabo.
Now, she hopes to get her computer skills back with the TTI training and keep them with continuous practice.
“Even as senior citizens, we should not stop learning, as long as there are opportunities for it,” said Curabo.
Toledo said the TTI instructors taught the elderly participants in particular how to use the Internet to search for information about illnesses common among old people.
City mayor REX T. Gatchalian is commending the institute for reaching out to the community.
“This just shows that whatever your profession is you always have something to contribute to your immediate community,” Mayor REX said in an interview.
“Information is vital to sound decision-making,” Mayor Rex said. “As we don’t stop making decisions even after retirement from our careers, we need to acquaint ourselves with information sources like the Internet even in old age.”
Training for the second batch of trainees will be held from September 23 to 27.