Never too old to learn

Seniors and students alike had an enjoyable day at Fort Siloso

Thirty-one seniors experienced campus life at NUS University Town during the Senior Academy Learning Journey at the College of Alice & Peter Tan (CAPT) at NUS from 22 to 24 June.

Organised by CAPT student leaders, the learning journey is part of the People’s Association Senior Academy programme which encourages lifelong learning for citizens above the age of 50.

The sprightly participants were divided into five groups, each facilitated by three to four NUS student leaders. During the camp, seniors such as Ms Chow Li Chin, 64, played old school games such as chapteh (Malay for the game of kicking a feathered shuttlecock), shared meals and attended classes with students. Speaking of her motivation for joining the Senior Academy programme, Ms Chow said in Mandarin, “We want to study and continually improve ourselves.”

CAPT Director of Outreach and Senior Lecturer Dr Tan Lai Yong spoke to the seniors on their first night, encouraging them to not only remain as active citizens, but to pass down their knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation. In the days that followed, it became apparent that it was not only the seniors who were on a learning journey; the students benefitted through the interaction with the campers as well.

The programme included a visit to Fort Siloso on Sentosa Island. Although it was raining when they arrived, the seniors were undeterred in their quest to explore the fort as many of them had not been there before. They walked through the various tunnels in the fort, viewing the different exhibits on display along the way.

Project Director and Year 4 NUS Psychology student Daniel Tan found the seniors’ determination to explore the fort in spite of the inclement weather inspiring. Reflecting on the experience, he commented that “their hunger for learning is really strong”.

By Song Tao, NUS Arts and Social Sciences

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