Parliament Sitting on 4 July 2022

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

53. Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether an update can be provided on the Mobile Access for Seniors Scheme as well as the Seniors Go Digital Programmes in assisting seniors to purchasing and learning how to use the latest smartphones.

54. Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what schemes are in place for support and assistance provided to seniors looking to transit into digital services such as digital Government services, banking services and payment of medical bills.  

Answer:

1. The SG Digital Office (SDO) was established in June 2020 to equip less digitally savvy individuals including seniors, hawkers and heartland merchants, with basic digital tools and skills. SDO’s Digital Ambassadors (DAs) have engaged over 130,000 seniors under the Seniors Go Digital (SGD) Programme.

2. The programme takes many forms, depending on the content. Engagements could be one-to-one and/or in small groups at the SG Digital Community Hubs, located island wide. Thematic Learning Journeys and step-by-step guides are available in the four official languages at the Seniors Go Digital website. Seniors are trained to access digital government services, and communicate and transact online. Interested seniors can learn how to use mobile banking services, and pay their medical bills through the HealthHub app. They are also taught about cyber risks and threats and how to keep themselves safe. In a survey conducted in 2021 with seniors one month after their engagement with the SDO, about nine in ten seniors reflected that they continued to apply the digital skills they learnt in their daily lives.

3. The Smart Nation Digital Government Office (SNDGO) also engages citizens on digital government services such as the Singpass app. SNDGO’s #SmartNationTogether online platform offers resources for seniors to pick up digital skills.

4. Lower-income seniors who are unable to afford mobile digital access can apply for the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s Mobile Access for Seniors (MAS) scheme, which supports eligible seniors with device and mobile connectivity at subsidised rates. Since its launch in June 2020 to April 2022, more than 9,000 seniors have benefited from the MAS.

5. Beyond these efforts, partnerships with other agencies are critical to ensure that seniors receive the support they need. The Tech Connect programme is a collaboration between MCI, IMDA and the People’s Association, to provide one-to-one assistance to seniors at 38 community centres (CCs) on the use of digital devices and services. Seniors who require assistance in digital government services can approach the Public Service Division (PSD) ServiceSG Centres, which are ‘first stop’ integrated government service centres, located at Our Tampines Hub, Kampong Chai Chee CC, Nee Soon Central CC and The Frontier CC.

6. Complementing the Government's initiatives, the Digital for Life (DfL) movement galvanises partners from the people, private and public sectors to help Singaporeans obtain the necessary tools and skills for a digital future. For example, at the Majestic Smart Seniors Applied Centre, managed by RSVP Singapore, seniors can learn how to identify and avoid scams, and protect their digital identity through curated modules and webinars, provided in partnership with Google. Together, these efforts have contributed to building a digitally ready and inclusive society in Singapore.

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