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Digital Literacy: Indispensable life skill for a prosperous future by Nidhi Lohia

By Volunteer Nidhi Lohia, FHI Kolkata

Before dwelling on the significance of digital literacy, let us analyze the following scenarios.

Scene 1

Zoom into a small village in some remote area of the country. The villagers, primarily being peasants, toil hard on the fields to earn their daily bread. These farmers are eligible for the numerous subsidies extended by the government in the guise of Direct Benefit Transfer. The grants are directly transferred to their respective bank accounts. Some of the farmers do own a mobile phone but lack the required knowledge to operate the device. Hence, they have to resort to taking the aid of another person to gain access to their bank account using the gadget. This augments the scope of them getting duped; the chances of fully realizing the subsidies become slim.

Scene 2

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, all schools and other educational institutions have been shut. They possess no other choice but to turn to the online medium. In such a precarious circumstance, we are focussing on a lower-middle-class family where the parents had not completed their proper schooling. However, with dreams and high hopes in their hearts, they had sent their two children to English-medium schools. Now, with the schools shut, their aspirations have dealt a huge blow. They are struggling hard to comprehend the varied nuances of online education and to keep up with its pace. The children are too young to handle online education on their own.

The above-mentioned scenarios indicate the lack of digital literacy that has hatched several problems. Digital literacy is an indispensable life skill that every individual should learn from an early age. To have a seamless experience in every domain of life and to enhance the possibility of being a potential skilled human resource, one should be digitally adept.

How to inculcate digital literacy from a young age?

Parents and guardians must ensure that children do not spend a significant period of the day on smartphones just to play games. They should also be encouraged to navigate and browse various enriching articles, videos, etc. on their own. This will not only broaden the sphere of their knowledge but also give wings to their curiosity and gradually render them digitally skilled.

Digital literacy is a life skill that increases the possibility of striking a nice paying employment opportunity in the future. So, in the case of underprivileged children who do not have much access to digital mediums, government schools, and non-profit organizations must take the onus of spreading digital literacy. Sessions must be conducted to enlighten the not so fortunate with digital knowledge.

Digital literacy is the need of the present times as every sphere of our lives will be gradually dominated by technology. One does not need to be a tech geek in the truest sense but inculcating basic knowledge of the digital world has become an utmost necessity.

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