The University of Third Age (U3A) Nigeria says an online academy targeted at stimulating the minds of retired senior citizens and make them productive in the society is underway.
Mr Babajide Afolabi, the Coordinator, U3A Nigeria International Office in Canada, told newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan.
The U3A Nigeria is multi-generational, promoting intergenerational programmes for the re-engagement of older persons who are transferring their dying vocations to younger generation.
The effort is aimed at occupying the senior citizens for better productive engagements and reduction of poverty in both generations.
U3A Nigeria, an affiliate of the Association of International Universities for Third Age (AIUTA) was established in 2007.
Afolabi said that the online academy would be launched in September to complement the physical centres of U3A in the country.
He said that the U3A has almost 5000 courses with most of them free for the basic users, urging government at all levels to support the initiative.
“We are going to have both online and physical centres where our seniors can come, stimulate their minds, interact and study like it is in advanced countries.
“We do have almost 5000 courses now and most of them will be free for the basic users just like learning languages. It is a long life learning,” he said.
Afolabi said that the senior citizens can still be engaged after their retirement to share their knowledge and experiences with the younger ones, while also being productive in the society.
He explained that the U3A was pushing the humble cause, having discovered there would be mass retirement in the next few years.
“Once that happens, what should we do with the socio-economic help in times of helping the elderly to integrate and continue to live long productively in the society.
“That is one of the thing we need to introduce back into the society, not just the centre.
“But creating the awareness and knowledge that will help all our younger folks to be able to see and respect our seniors on the streets,” he said.
Afolabi stressed that senior citizens who have retired in some advance countries like Canada, Singapore were brought together to be more productive in their respective societies.
He said that most of them were brought together as lecturers so that the younger ones can benefit from their knowledge and experiences.
Afolabi said that the programme would help the government in catering for the senior citizens and every other aspects of the society
He said that it would help every aspect of government initiative to see that they are not abandoned.
Earlier, Dr Charles Afolabi, U3A Nigeria President, said that the university would launch the online academy in September in Lagos.
He said that they are putting lot of effort to achieving the launch in September, hosting representatives from France, US, Canada and other countries across the globe.
Afolabi said that U3A is private varsity and opened to further collaborations from other likeminded organisations.