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May 12, 2021

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Wang, 70, learns to be smartphone master

AFTER three classes on smart technologies, 70-year-old Wang, a resident in Putuo District, is proud of what she has learned.

“Showing my health QR code, registering for medical treatment, taking the subway by scanning a code, video chatting and photoshop, all these are no longer a problem for me,” she told Shanghai Daily on Monday before attending the last class.

Shanghai launched a program to help 1 million senior citizens learn about smart technologies this year, an effort to overcome the “digital barrier” confronting many of them.

Wang was among dozens of residents in the Changfeng residential complex subdistrict attending the classes.

“Such classes are super good because in many cases, children do not live with seniors or some are too impatient to teach their parents how to use smartphones,” said Wang.

Wang was a “good student,” carefully taking notes in class.

“Due to age, I often forget what I have learned, thus I keep notes,” she said. “Practice is very important; and I put the knowledge into use after I learn it.”

She was never shy in asking questions via WeChat when she encountered problems after class.

Wang encouraged her husband to attend the class as well.

“I even teach other seniors what I have learned now,” she said. “Such skills make life much easier, and at the same time, I feel I catch up with the trend and get younger.”

During the final class, the senior students learned how to hail taxis via apps.

The Haixin community in the Changfeng residential complex subdistrict has about 5,000 residents and about half are 65 or older.

“There is a huge demand for such classes because digital payment, transport and health QR code access are widely used in daily lives,” said Zhao Leibin, Party secretary of the Haixin neighborhood committee.

“It is not easy now to hail a taxi on the street, while health QR codes are widely required in daily life, including for COVID-19 vaccination applications,” said Zhao.

As of the end of April, Shanghai Oriental Digital Community Co, a participant in the program, helped a million senior citizens learn about smart technologies and this year hosted 2,869 classes, covering 52,226 people.


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