60-year-olds getting to know the internet better
Approximately 3,600 individuals, whose average age is 58 years, have taken part in the ICTforALL scheme launched by the Malta Communications Authority to help adults aged over 25 years familiarise themselves with different applications related to information and communication technology (ICT).
According to statistics, the programme is most popular among 60-year-olds. Female participation is significantly higher than that of males, in particular in the 50 to 64 age group.
The participants learn how to use technology in their everyday life, such as sending an email to friends, using eGovernment services and sharing a digital photo online.
The programme was launched by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) in 2010. Training for adults started early last year. Due to its popularity, ICTforAll was relaunched at the end of 2011, also offering follow-up and more advanced courses.
The training is provided by qualified individuals who were identified through a public call and subsequently trained by the MCA according to the curriculum of the course. Training is provided in the community technology learning centres that were established in different locations across Malta and Gozo. The centres are administered by a number of non-governmental organisations and local councils.
The MCA, in collaboration with private enterprises, has contributed towards the upgrading of the centres by providing computer facilities featuring the latest hardware and software, together with internet connectivity.
The Authority told di-ve.com that over the past few months, it helped upgrade each centre by providing new computer equipment with the support of Microsoft, which donated the software required.
12 of the 16 centres are open to the general public while four target specific vulnerable groups.
The scheme entitles individuals aged 25 years and over to a €35 voucher that is redeemable against the ICTforALL training course. The initiative is intended to encourage more adults to start using ICT to enhance their quality of life, reduce the risk of social exclusion and facilitate employability.
There are different courses available: ICTforALL basics where one learns how to use key technologies which will facilitate day-to-day tasks; Microsoft Digital Lifestyles course where the basic concepts and features of digital audio, video and photography are explained, and Microsoft Productivity Programmes course, where one learns how to carry out basic tasks employing commonly used productivity programmes.