Today, we celebrate world telecommunication and information society day (WTISD), helping raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies and ways to bridge the digital divide. Today marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1969. The focus this year is Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing .
The ageing of the global population will be the defining demographic trend of the 21st century – yet our societies struggle to see the opportunities that this trend can unfold, writes Joe Smith, Stellenbosch University's Director: IT infrastructure.
"Telecommunications and information communication technologies (ICTs) have a role to play in achieving healthier ageing and helping people build smarter cities, combat age-based discrimination at the workplace, ensure the financial inclusion of older persons, and support millions of caregivers across the world. This year's theme raises awareness of the critical role of telecommunications/ICTs in helping people stay healthy, connected and independent - physically, emotionally and financially. Supporting a healthy ageing life is also essential to the sustainability of economic and health systems. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) hopes to foster initiatives to accelerate digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing to contribute to the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing.
What is IT doing at SU?
SU staff who belong to the Stellenbosch University Retirement Fund during active employment, and decide to continue their employee benefits post-retirement, may retain the use of their @sun.ac.za e-mail addresses once retired. This gives access to several University systems like the library and all information available through the library portal. Online learning is available from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/training. This enables staff and students of all ages to keep on learning as technology evolves.
Says Smith: "We strongly support lifelong learning to enable students, staff, and pensioners to embark on the digital transformation journey. Internet on Campus is available in abundance to enable students and staff to access learning material and online courses available on the Internet. In many instances, these online learning resources are available at no cost."
Reference: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day | United Nations