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Community ICT training for adults & the elderly in Gozo & Malta

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Community ICT training project for adults & the elderly in Gozo & MaltaJosé Herrera, Stefan Buontempo and Justyne Caruana addressed the launching of EM CITIZEN – EM (electronic mobile) Citizen, an innovative community-training project aimed at adults and elderly people aged over 50. A new way in making ICT training accessible amongt the elderly generations.

EM (electronic mobile) Citizen has been launched today at Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar. In a modern digital society where Smart Phones and Tablets are practically taking over PC's and Laptops, TCTC has evolved this innovative and informal type of education for their audience.

In the coming 2-3 years, technology advancements will focus on mobile and i-cloud computing rather than the conventional way of ICT. It is projected that people will hardly be using laptops and PCs in the near future, but all their digital activities will be based on handheld devices.

Initiatives like EM Citizen with the aim to raise awareness and educate people to enter the digital world are organised close to home in a network of computer labs by TCTC at many local councils, including about 70 elderly persons from Gozo, who will benefit from this initiative.

EM Citizen is a 6 weeks course, during which 4 lectures will be held in class groups at councils, and 2 outings i.e. Technology Mornings/Afternoons. The training will focus on digital life situations such as Facebook, Video Conferencing, APPS like Quddies, Exercise-Calories, Currency, Investment, Banking, e-gov, travel booking, newspapers, IPTV, Whatsapp, Appstore & Playstore, i-health gadgets-apps to check cardio/ glucose and more.

TCTC Managing Director Mr Raymond Abela, a pioneer in ICT training for the past 30 years expressed his philosophy, "it is our responsibility to encourage all citizens to engage themselves in the use to EM services today. This will improve the quality of life as well give them the edge to obtain services from the comfort of their home. It has been many years inventing projects under my brand TCTC and thanks to all those who invested in my ideas. TCTC has managed to train thousands of people over the past years, not only through our training centres but also from TV."

Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Dr Jose' Herrera spoke about corporate social responsibility. "EM Citizen is the right example of the business corporate social responsibility to provide such free educational opportunities. The more we have citizens using ICT and APPS, the more we can interact with the various electronic mobile services that the private and public entities provide. We are committed to provide all this in accordance with the Digital Malta Agenda. We need a modern society with diligent and electronically aware citizens of all ages. We don't need bridges but paths towards a successful and modern nation for the generations to come. It is thanks to these initiatives that many people today have the confidence and know-how in becoming an electronic citizen, irrespective of age or background."

Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Stefan Buontempo said that, "these sorts of initiatives prove that local councils can be of benefit to their communities even through collaborations with the private sector. Local councils serve not only as the provider of services but also as a facilitator in the provision of such services. I therefore encourage all local councils to be proactive and to collaborate with the private sector and public entities so that they keep being of help and support to their respective communities."

Parliamentary Secretary for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing Dr Justyne Caruana, commented on the Government's commitment to implement the Active Ageing Strategy, by means of collaboration of several Government Ministries and entities as well as the private sector. She said that older persons can benefit from Information Technology to help them live a more independent life. She remarked that about 70 elderly persons from Gozo will benefit from this initiative.

TCTC has teamed up with various partners and organisations including Hilltop Gardens, Smart City, Mediterranean Bank, Melita plc, Intercomp-DELL-HUAWEI-Europharma to sustain this project. After the launch, participants attended a workshop during which many of the above mentioned services were demonstrated.

Photogrph: DOI/Jason Borg

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