Free workshops in Nee Soon Link help seniors embark on digitalisation journey

A digital festival in Nee Soon Link, where booths were set up to encourage residents to embark or continue their digitalisation journey, on Sunday. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE – Madam Azizah Ahmad, 75, used to fear digital technology, until she attended workshops in Nee Soon Link under an initiative by grassroots organisations (GROs) there to drive technological inclusion.

In just four sessions, she said, she learnt how to log in to her banking account from her smartphone and how to make payments. She also knows how to upload photos from her mobile phone to her Facebook account.

“They also taught me how to spot a scam message, and what are the signs to look out for to check if the website link is secure – for example, https in the Web address is more secure than http,” said Madam Azizah.

She is among more than 1,100 seniors who have benefited since the initiative was launched in December 2021. Senior residents are encouraged to attend the free workshops, where they are given one-to-one coaching for 20 to 30 minutes.

On Sunday, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng visited a digital festival in Nee Soon Link where various public- and private-sector stakeholders set up booths to encourage residents to embark on or continue their digitalisation journey. Google had a booth where residents could tap online safety tips, while Huawei had a showcase on the use of artificial intelligence in daily applications.

Nee Soon GRC MP Derrick Goh said: “It is very important to make sure that our seniors and our elders in our community are equipped with digital skills.”

He noted that as digital transformation is impacting people’s lives, it is crucial for seniors not to be left behind, and that the community is there to help them.

“And so, the first step is making digital payments. I think this is what impacts everyday lives. And slowly, they can leverage this to be confident to use digital tools to read newspapers... then move on to do other things,” added Mr Goh.

Mr Cheng Tun Wah, 75, a retired senior technician, is grateful for the help, saying: “There are people stationed at the community centres... so whenever I have any questions on how to do certain things, I would go there. I have learnt how to use the PayLah app and how to pay my utilities bills using my mobile phone.”

Nee Soon Link GROs have also tied up with Singtel and M1 to provide seniors and vulnerable households with free data plans.

And to safeguard residents against online harms and scams, Mr Goh and Nee Soon Link GROs have been working closely with the police to engage residents and promote the use of the ScamShield app.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.