Singapore government to launch a set of initiatives for digital literacy and empowerment through ICTs

The government of Singapore announced a series of initiatives to increase digital literacy, boost the digital economy, promote innovation and enhance e-government services. A Digital Readiness Office will be created to align the different programs taking place to enhance the adoption of digital technologies. These are some of the main areas that will be addressed:

Assistive Technologies for Persons with Disabilities

Enable IT seeks to support persons with disabilities adopt ICTs and assistive technologies for their daily lives, education and employment. This effort involves collaboration between the Infocomm Media Development Authority, private organizations and disability voluntary welfare groups. It is expected that the funding provided by the government will make it possible to address the needs of 3,000 beneficiaries over the next four years.

Additionally, the program involves the creation of a pool of persons with disabilities to become Assistive Technology Ambassadors in collaboration with companies such as Apple and Microsoft. They will be trained to spread the use of assistive technology in devices and platforms from different brands including functionalities such as screen readers, magnifiers, narrators and speech recognition products.

Building up Digital Literacy and Skills

Outreach for ICTs education is currently taking place through different initiatives related to checking the credibility of online information, raise awareness of safe online behaviors and adopt design thinking approaches. However, it was detected that further training was required for lower skilled workers and parents.

Another major initiative will be organized by the Media Literacy Council, which will launch a Call for Proposals for youth to start projects to promote digital literacy in their communities. The best projects will receive funding, training and access to a network of partners that include Google, Garena, MyRepublic, Facebook and Mediacorp. This initiative is meant to promote entrepreneurism among youth to develop solutions to target social needs.

Innovation and Tech Involvement

A series of projects related to innovation and technology engagement are being implemented. The first one is the Digital Maker Program, which seeks to encourage individuals of all ages to create prototypes of their own inventions. A second program consists in providing schools over the next two years with “micro:bits” devices and training to enhance their coding skills. Further training will be provided through self-help groups to extend Digital Maker workshops to low-income households.

Source: Open Gov Asia