15,000 seniors have benefited from National Silver Academy courses since 2015

Senior citizens touring the National Silver Academy Roadshow, held in conjunction with the Positive Ageing Conference organised by the Council for Third Age, at Toa Payoh HDB Hub on March 22, 2018.
Senior citizens touring the National Silver Academy Roadshow, held in conjunction with the Positive Ageing Conference organised by the Council for Third Age, at Toa Payoh HDB Hub on March 22, 2018.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - For Madam Rajam Sadanandan, the learning never stops.

A fall last year might have put her studies at the Singapore University of Social Sciences on hold, but the 71 year-old former administrative executive plans to resume her Bachelor of General Studies course as soon as she recovers.

Madam Rajam has also taken courses in psychology and Western art offered by organisations under the National Silver Academy (NSA).

"Age is not a barrier, so I want to continue as much as I can, as long as my health permits," said Madam Rajam on Thursday (March 22) at the NSA Roadshow held in conjunction with the Positive Ageing Conference organised by the Council for Third Age at Toa Payoh HDB Hub.

Some 15,000 seniors have benefited from NSA courses since its launch in 2015, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor at the event.

The NSA comprises a network of post-secondary education institutions and community-based organisations which offer seniors educational and recreational programmes. SkillsFuture credits can be used for the courses, which are subsidised.

In her speech, Dr Khor stressed the importance of active ageing and lifelong learning.

"Together, we can redefine the notion of ageing, broaden our horizons through lifelong learning, and make Singapore a Nation of All Ages," she said, adding that various online courses for seniors have been launched.

The NSA Roadshow, which is held thrice yearly in the heartland, offers a glimpse into courses and volunteering opportunities available for seniors.

Mr Tan Eng Cheow, 65, who was seen at the Roadshow, is an active volunteer.

He helps out with the Community Befriending Programme, visiting four fellow seniors twice monthly to chat and play board games with.

Volunteering has made him feel more "happy and carefree", he said in Mandarin.

"Otherwise, I'd just be bored and lonely at home," he added.

The NSA Roadshow, which is on from 11am to 8pm, will be held till Friday.