The Chronicle’s View: Come on back now, ya hear?

The U is introducing a new program this semester that allows people older than 50 years of age to return to school and take classes for personal enrichment.

The Osher Institute allows elderly (and not so elderly) members of the community full rights and privileges of being students for only $400. Courses are six weeks long and designed to sharpen skills, expand horizons and provide a good time.

Computer classes can help some keep up with their techno-savvy grandkids or overcome their typewriter fidelity. Yoga and Tai Chi classes are a fun, social way to improve health and coordination.

The program is not only a good idea, but is incredibly popular.

The people returning to school for sheer enjoyment should humble and sober up U students who can’t wait to leave. For many, school is a stumbling block that must be hurdled before moving on to better times. Participants in the institute are here to prove that now is the better time.

These students are also commendable for taking seriously the charge to make learning a lifelong venture. We will all hear that said at commencement exercises (as we occasionally look up from our Game Boys) and these people are doing it.

Hooray to the school for allowing the program. The elderly are an oft forgotten and neglected demographic. Exercise classes are a great way to stay limber in the golden years. Other classes can help these people stay active in the community and keep up with the modern world.

Keeping the brain active as one goes through the aging process can seriously reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss.

Education should be a continuous and highly prioritized aspect of adult life. The day we quit learning is the day we no longer justify our existence. A very exciting possibility has been announced by the institute director: inter-generational programs in the future.

U students in their youth who would be working together with experienced and seasoned people returning to the U would be both an enjoyable and enriching experience.

U students in their 20s have only just begun independent adulthood and are encountering many challenges. Working and learning with people at least 30 years their elder would be invaluable in finding answers to life’s age-old questions.

Knowledge at any age is always a high-return investment.