U3A — university of the third kind

Azman (second, left) posing with one of students of University of Third Age (U3A) Ignatius Chan, 81, (right) during the U3A Graduation Ceremony. Also present are president of U3A Albert Teh (second, right) and vice president of U3A Margaret Gan (left). Photo: Bernama

PETALING JAYA:  For senior citizens in Petaling Jaya, one way to keep the mind and body active, is being members of lifelong learning bodies such as the Association for Lifelong Learning of Older Persons, also known as U3A — University of the Third Age.

Yesterday, 16 of the students at U3A Petaling Jaya (U3APJ) successfully ‘graduated’ and received their certificates after working hard to complete their courses.

As for Ignatius Chan, 81, taking the harmonica class at U3APJ since last month has brightened his days after having retired for more than 20 years in the banking sector.

“It brings back all the memories as I used to play harmonica when I was young. Music cheers me up,” he told Bernama after the First Annual Graduation of U3APJ here.

Azman (second, left) posing with one of students of University of Third Age (U3A) Ignatius Chan, 81, (right) during the U3A Graduation Ceremony. Also present are president of U3A Albert Teh (second, right) and vice president of U3A Margaret Gan (left). Photo: Bernama

Meanwhile, U3APJ president, Albert Teh said U3A is a place where people get together, learn and share their experiences and expertise.

“This place must keep moving in order to provide a chance for retirees to network and socialise with people in their own age group, which is something many seniors don’t have the luxury of doing.

“This is important because older people who are active tend to have fewer health problems as even in retirement, senior citizens can remain productive and active,” he said.

U3APJ has been offering courses for seniors, aged 50 and above, since early this year and now has more than 200 students with 20 courses offered which are divided into several streams: exercise, language and communication, culture, art and craft, living skills, agriculture and adult development.

Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (middle) and Azman (right) cutting cake at University of Third Age Graduation Ceremony. Also present is the president of University of Third Age (U3A) Albert Teh (second, right). Photo: Bernama

Meanwhile, Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang in his speech as a guest-of-honour of the event said U3A is much needed in Malaysia.

“Community organisations such as U3APJ are very much needed in Malaysia, to provide avenues for retirees and seniors to interact, learn new skills and offer their expertise and experiences to its sub-committees.

“These activities, as well as the intake of nutrition and physical exercise, will improve their mental health and reduce the need for nursing care,” he said. – Bernama