Seniors' learning starts at home

The report on June 28 ("More seniors back in school") showcased several inspiring seniors enrolled in university programmes.

However, a more meaningful discussion to spark is that of how the landscape of informal venues for education is evolving and how inclusiveness in this area can be supported.

Many seniors, especially those who have retired, do try to remain active in the community and their homes; it is in these settings that the environment for learning should be examined, because improvements would benefit a substantial group of seniors.

In the community, various activities have been made increasingly available and affordable at community clubs, to engage senior residents. As a grassroots leader, I have witnessed some of the successes of these activities.

However, it is in the context of family and friends where scrutiny and introspection are required.

My maternal grandmother recently recounted how she had taught a friend the term "escalator", in place of the more dramatic "electric ladder".

This story got me thinking about how much we, young or old, could learn from our peers and also our family, provided the environment is conducive for such learning - for instance, an environment where criticism is constructive, where one does not take offence at being corrected or taught, and where we can laugh about our shortcomings.

When we were young, our parents created as optimal an environment as they could for us to learn our most fundamental skills. It is only reasonable that we reciprocate such acts with patience and kindness when our parents grow older and need guidance.

Lavisha S. Punjabi (Ms)