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World Computer Literacy Day – December 2nd

World Computer Literacy Day – December 2nd

Launched back in 2001, World Computer Literacy Day which falls each year on December 2nd aims to curb the digital divide that exists in the world today. The Day aims to increase awareness of this ‘divide’ and increase access to information technology for disadvantaged communities.

From the Internet and mobile phones to TV and broadcast radio, the rise of information and communications technologies (ICTs) is often said to be creating a ‘global village’. But as yet, this is a lopsided community. ICTs, in particular broadband Internet access, are still heavily concentrated in the North despite fast-growing use in rural Africa and in some emergent economies, such as Brazil and China.

The North-South gap in access to, and the capability to use, modern information technology is a major barrier to the development of these countries. By gaining a foothold in affordable ICTs, the poor can access the knowledge and services they need to boost their livelihoods.

When we look at internet usage, around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today. In 1995, it was less than 1%. 93.5% of United Kingdom’s population are regular internet users, versus only 4.4% for Ethiopia. There has been somewhat of a digital boom in Kenya with the number of internet users increased to 68.4% of population in December 2016, up from 20% in the previous year. Looking at the number of computers in the home, 76% in Ireland have access to a computer at home, versus 3% in Tanzania and 2% in Zambia. The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013. The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014.

The country with highest number of internet users is China with 772, 000, 000 (54.6%) people and India is at second position with 462, 124, 989 (36.5%) people upto Dec. 2017.

The benefits and impact of ICT are well-documented. In education, outcomes include an ‘increased knowledge of school subjects, improved attitudes about learning, and the acquisition of new skills needed for a developing economy’. It is also suggested that ICT helps to ‘close the gender gap’, and aid students with special needs. Poor ICT capacity constrains national development at all levels, with the lack of ICT access hampering the opportunities of the next generation and undermining their employment potential.

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Vijay Gupta
Vijay Gupta1095 posts

State Awardee, Global Winner

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