Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S. Iswaran (centre), Senior Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary (centre, in white shirt), and IMDA Chief Executive Tan Kiat How (right) together with the newly minted Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors.
Mr S. Iswaran: "We want to ensure that no one is left behind in this digital transition."
By Janice Lin
Digital technologies have become an integral part of our everyday lives, transforming the way we live, work, learn and play.
With these changes come the need for Singaporeans to be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to benefit from the opportunities present in the digital era.
To address this, the Digital Readiness Blueprint was launched on 2 June, 2018 by Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran at Tech Saturday (Upsized!), held at Suntec Singapore.
The blueprint was a product of the Digital Readiness Workgroup – comprising representatives from the public, private and people sectors – which aimed to develop strategies and principles for building Digital Readiness in Singaporeans, with a particular emphasis on those who might be at risk of being excluded from opportunities in the digital future.
The Digital Readiness Blueprint was officially launched at Tech Saturday (Upsized!) 2018.
At the heart of the blueprint is inclusivity – the idea that all segments of society should have access to digital technology and skills in order to participate meaningfully in a digital society.
One recommendation made by the blueprint was for one-on-one digital assistance to be provided at key community touch points.
“Digitalisation will have a profound impact on our quality of life – our access to opportunities, our ability to engage in social networking and in terms of the services that we can enjoy. We want to ensure that no one is left behind in this digital transition,” said Mr Iswaran.
Providing help to build digital skills
The Digital Readiness Blueprint contains a set of 10 recommendations.
One of these calls for the provision of one-on-one digital assistance at key community touch points to make it easy for Singaporeans to adopt technology.
This recommendation represents a massive endeavour involving several agencies and organisations.
For a start, The Ministry of Communications and Information, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the People’s Association (PA) will be working together to pilot this initiative at selected community centres later this year.
Another recommendation was to identify and articulate a set of basic digital skills necessary for daily activities, to encourage technology adoption among the less digitally savvy.
IMDA has since developed a curriculum for basic digital skills and know-how, which includes searching for and managing information online, transacting online, as well as tips on spotting online scams and discerning fake news.
As a start, the curriculum is being offered at selected Silver Infocomm Junctions, which are senior-friendly infocomm learning hubs.
(Click here for the locations of the Silver Infocomm Junctions.)
Stressing that digital readiness is a national effort, Mr Iswaran urged visitors at Tech Saturday to help their family, friends and loved ones to become digitally ready.
“The true measure of a nation is not just how vibrant or strong our economy is but also how we care for one another in our society, in particular, how we provide the services that are necessary to those who are in need,” he said.
Newly appointed SIWAs received their certificates from Mr S. Iswaran at the event.
New SIWAs appointed
The launch event also saw the appointment of several Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors (SIWAs).
This appointment, which is awarded yearly by IMDA and the PA Active Ageing Council, recognises seniors for actively embracing technology in their daily lives, as well as inspiring their family and friends to do the same.
“(Digital readiness) means embracing technology, applying it in our daily lives to bring about more convenience. Technology is everywhere now, and it’s so important to keep up with the times, or we’ll be left behind,” said SIWA Ms Natalie Tan, 55, who encourages her friends to keep in contact with one another using mobile apps like WhatsApp.
To find out more about the Digital Readiness Blueprint, visit: https://www.mci.gov.sg/portfolios/digital-readiness/digital-readiness-blueprint